Picayune School board hears about grant, and repair needs

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Board of Trustees for Picayune’s Separate Municipal School District heard about a new program being funded by a Leo Seal grant.
Roseland Park Elementary gifted teacher Alicia Verweij, was awarded the grant on April 13, said Superintendent Dean Shaw.
Verweij said she will use the $2,000 to create a program for students in her classes to begin gaining experience working with computer programming, 3D printing and audio visual applications.
One of the projects will involve using a computer program to compile code that will direct a robot’s actions. Another project will use a separate computer program to allow the students design a space vehicle that currently does not exist, then print that design using a 3D printer.
She said the total cost of the program will be $2,009, and that Principal Vicki Vaughn has donated the extra $9.
No action was necessary on that item.
In a separate matter, Shaw updated the board on some necessary repairs needed at Nicholson Elementary and the Bertie Rouse building, also known as the district’s maintenance building. He said those roofs need to be repaired or replaced. Shaw said the district would like to replace any flat roofs with elevated metal roofs. He said the Bertie Rouse building is in the worst shape, due to ongoing leaks. Funding to conduct the work will come from the maintenance budget. The board approved going out for bids to get the work done.
During discussion of extending the school year for the summer of 2016 to provide summer school classes for children in special education, board members asked if summer school was an option for high school students. Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell said that while the special education summer school program provides instruction for more than 50 students at South Side Elementary, and for students in junior high, there is not a summer education program for high school students. When the board asked if there was a need for such a program at the high school, several people in the audience spoke up, saying “yes!”
Shaw said district’s administration will look into the matter and report their findings back to the board.
The next meeting will be May 10 at 5:30 p.m.

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