Picayune school board discusses senior projects

Published 7:31 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Picayune’s school board discussed making senior projects better, maintaining the freshly renovated auditorium and holding meetings during the day.

Making senior projects better was discussed at an Institute Workshop in New Orleans last week. Some school board members, teachers, parents and students from Picayune attended to discuss how students could get more from their senior projects while not bogging down the rest of their school work. Board member Ginny Dodd said the group discussed tweaking the projects and place more focus on writing. She suggested that the focus on writing could start earlier to better prepare them for senior year.

Some of the parents were concerned that by the time students got to senior year, there was an abundance of work for the students to do that weighed on them.

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Board president Harvey Miller noted that there seems to be no even field for the students to do their projects. Some students might appear to be doing easy projects while others are doing difficult more projects. The board decided to discuss the subject further at later meetings.

The board discussed increasing fees for the use of the school’s auditorium but made no decision. Members said there has been an increase in the use of the auditorium since Hurricane Katrina. The extra wear and tear needs to be accounted for since the auditorium recently had some costly renovations.

“I don’t want to wear and tear it out, I’d like to restrict it to the use of Picayune first,” Miller said. “Picayune slash Pearl River County.”

Discussion from the last month on meeting during the day continued last night. The board at its last meeting approved the first reading of a policy change to hold its second meeting of the month during the day. Miller said having meetings during the day would free up evenings for board members and school personnel who attend the meetings. Board member Duane Wheat said it might be hard for him to stop his daily activities to attend the meeting but said he would give it a try. Miller said if the new day time meetings did not work out it could be revisited at a later meeting.

Agenda items to be added to the agenda should be done so a week prior to the scheduled meeting. The board approved the second reading on the day time meetings and voted to require agenda items beadded to the agenda a week prior to the meeting.

District architect David Landry discussed the scope of work scheduled for buildings in the district, such as the reroofing of the central office. He said he is about 90 percent complete with plans to reroof the central office and build a new entrance to the office. Other scopes of work include a bus canopy to be built at South Side Upper Elementary to stand over the driveway and parking lot so children can unload from buses under the canopy.

Landry hopes to be able to come back to the next meeting with a 99 percent complete plan so they can go out for bids on the work.

The board approved hiring Walt Esslinger as the high school’s assistant principal and assistant football coach. During Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved hiring Robert Green as the high school band director to replace Jerry Cumberland.

Two matters concerning personnel were moved to executive session. After that executive session the board approved one personnel matter and another person will not return for the next school year, assistant superintendent Brent Harrell said.

Recently a local football player lost a family member in a house fire. The board mentioned there will be a fund raiser at the VFW to help the student financially. Miller said the benefit is set for Saturday, July 28, from noon till.

In other business the board;

— Accepted a Dyslexia Grant for $27,469.38.

— Approved minutes from the June 26, meeting.

— Nominated Edward Stubbs as the Early Head Start Policy Council school board liaison and Gaylonda Martin, Amiodum Balogun, Mary Fowler and Linda Hanberry to the policy council.