Picayune School Board discusses storage of excess Nissan vehicles
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 11, 2017
A new member took his place on the Picayune School Board of Trustees Tuesday, Jake Smith.
Smith ran in November’s election to fill the vacated seat, which has been unoccupied since February of last year when a legislation change forced his predecessor, Jimmy Hancock, out of office until the election in November. The legislation change moved the election of school board members in the state of Mississippi to November, but did not establish a policy to occupy the seat until the election, according to previous coverage.
After Smith was sworn in by the Board’s attorney, Gerald Patch, the meeting moved to the election of the Board’s officers.
Frank Ford was chosen as the Board’s new chairperson, Lori Blackmer was chosen as the vice chairperson, Edward Stubbs was chosen as secretary and Smith was chosen as second secretary. Past chairperson Frank Feeley’s term also ends in February, which means the board will have another empty seat this year until November’s election.
In other matters, the Board approved a motion to re-advertise for bids concerning lawn care on un-leased 16th section land. District Finance Director Lisa Persick said the two lowest bidders that previously submitted proposals backed out when the old airport property was removed from the bid. Persick said that property, totaling 20 acres, cut the bid by the remaining contractor by about $4,000. Additionally, the Board is in the process of mandating an indemnification clause in all contracts to ensure the district is protected from workman’s compensation claims. That means contractors need to carry their own coverage, which would have cost the remaining bidder up to $2,000 to procure, causing that company to withdraw their bid, Persick said.
Persick said the 20 acres was pulled from the bid because a lease at the old airport was established at the last minute between the district and Mississippi Auto Carriers, a company that is providing storage space for excess Nissan vehicles.
ACT testing for all juniors at the high school is now mandatory. In preparation for that new regulation, Curriculum and Testing Director Mary Williams established a prep course for teachers to enable them to work with students on their weak points. That course was held on Jan. 4, and every able-bodied high school teacher was required to participate.
Teachers will use the information pertaining to the student’s needs to help prepare them for the ACT in March.
The Board also approved a motion to establish a district policy concerning a parent opting their child out of state testing. Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell said the policy was deemed a requirement after a parent declined to allow their elementary student to participate in the state testing. While it is the parent’s right to do so, the district needed a way to show that the missing results from that student’s test was no fault of the district.
The next Board meeting will be January 24 at noon.