PRC School District discuss wellness, adopt budget

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wellness Coordinator suggests areas of improvement to the Board for this upcoming fiscal year.

Wellness Coordinator Kimberly Alford suggests areas of improvement to the Board for this upcoming fiscal year.

Thursday, in addition to discussing and adopting the 2016-17 budget, the Pearl River County School District heard a presentation from Wellness Coordinator Kimberly Alford about a School Wellness program implemented in 2015-16.
The improvements made to the schools this year involved the installation of fencing around the high school parking lot, securing the entry and exit ways for student safety, improving food offerings in the secondary school cafeteria, organizing a color run at PRCHS and establishing an athlete mentor program at the elementary school, Alford said.
For this upcoming fiscal year, Alford suggested school wellness improvements such as anti-bullying assemblies featuring guest speakers at the middle and high school.
“The safety of our students is the priority of the administration team at PRC. It is our responsibility to provide students with information on acceptable behavior and interactions. The anti-bullying assemblies are important to school and student safety,” said Alford.
Also, Alford suggested organizing a playground for PRC Lower Elementary and improving the food offerings to students at the elementary campus for the upcoming year.
Another topic discussed during the meeting was the budget for the fiscal year of 2016-17. Business Administrator T.J. Burleson said the total budget for the upcoming year was adjusted to $25.2 million in revenues and $25.8 million in expenses, leading to a total shortfall of $577,708.
The totals released from Burleson in June were estimations involving the additional budget amount and grant totals.
Part of the shortfall came from the additional expense of $200,000 for technology upgrades and participation in the Community Eligibility program, which provides free breakfast and lunch to students at the upper and lower elementary and endeavor school. Of the total shortfall, $85,410 was already budgeted to be covered by the fund balance.
In order to cover the remaining shortfall of $292,298, Burleson said the Board will use money available from the student activities fund and left over grants from the previous fiscal year. The student activities fund consists of fundraisers and dues paid throughout the year, totaling about $300,000 for 2016. Of that, $90,000 was left over, which Burleson said will go toward covering the difference. Burleson suggested the Board make replacing the server a high priority this year.
“If the servers go down, you probably will lose all of your data. It is something that needs our attention,” said Burleson.
Burleson said he will receive quotes on the cost to upgrade computers and replace the server next week.
While other school districts have been seeing decreases in their Mississippi Adequate Education program funding, PRC received an increase.
In the 2016 fiscal year, the district’s MAEP funding was $14.5 million. For 2017, the funding will increase by $181,944 bringing the total to about $14.7 million. Burleson said he did not know why they are receiving an increase in funds while other districts are not.
However, a main contributing factor for MAEP funding is student attendance in a district, Burleson said. The attendance in the PRC district is about 3,070.
Also, during the meeting, district reading fair winner Evan Coig presented his award-winning project. This project was based on a book describing the chase of John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

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