PRC District declines to accept Picayune junior high students

Published 6:18 pm Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Pearl River County School District last night declined to accept junior high students from the Picayune Municipal Separate School District.

Legally, the district is permitted to accept the students while Picayune Junior High is under “school improvement” as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind law, if it chose to do so.

After agreeing to discuss the issue, the board accepted the recommendation by Superintendent Dennis Penton to decline to accept the 7th and 8th grade students.

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“The law reads that if you have if you have two or more schools of the same (type in your district), you can offer the school (under improvement) a choice within your district. If you only have a single school of that type, then you contact (the surrounding districts) and they have the option to accept those students or not. We don’t currently have the capacity to accept any more students. So my recommendation is that we decline,” he said.

The board approved a motion to accept Penton’s recommendation.

In his superintendent’s report announced that the first day of school for teachers is Friday and that the first day of school for students is Wednesday, Aug. 6.

The board also approved finalizing the purchase of the St. Michael’s property, with two issues still to be worked through. Those issues are the money that needs to be put into escrow for the cost of sewer system repair and an easement that needs to be approved for access to a small cemetery on one side of the property.

In other matters, the board:

— Approved financial matters.

— Approved personnel matters.

—Approved requests for several out-of-district students to attend the Pearl River County School District for the 2008-2009 school year.

— Approved requests for several students to be released from the Pearl River County School District for the 2008-2009 school year.

—Approved the 2008-2009 Faculty Handbook.

— Approved the Mississippi Department of Education’s grant as a Motivated Data Site offered by Kid’s College for the 2008-2009 school year for the Pearl River Central Middle School and Pearl River Central Upper Elementary School.

— Approved request from the Pearl River Central Athletic Association to use the high school football field and concession stand for little league games during the months of September, October, November and December providing the school district with a liability insurance policy.

— Went into executive session to discuss several matters.