PRC School Board plans improvements

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Pearl River County School District Board of Trustees held its monthly meeting Monday night where members heard about strengths and weaknesses the school District could work on.

Superintendent Alan Lumpkin opened the meeting by saying the District’s administration is continually working toward the betterment of the students.

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Byron Hill with Mississippi Power spoke about the importance of learning environmental science in classrooms.

“I am passionate about keeping the environment clean and would want to pass it on to our students,” he said.

Hill then introduced the recipient of the $500 Mississippi Power environmental grant, Pearl River Central Upper Elementary teacher Leigh Lenoir.

“We have been working on building a memorial garden in remembrance of one of our own,” Lenoir said. Through this grant we wish to raise butterflies and educate children on their lifecycle, add lots of plants and revamp the entire memorial garden.”

The 2016-2017 data showing the state-wide growth, proficiency and passing rates in math, reading and science was also presented during the meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Missy Holston said that the District’s proficiency level increased by almost five levels in math and by nine levels in science. A 57 percent increase in student proficiency in US History was noted, a record twelve point increase in one year.

The District’s Career and Technical Education Center was ranked second for its health science program and 21st and 28th for its culinary arts and teacher academy programs respectively.

The District also ranked 10th in the state for ACT scores.

“It’s an incredible feat and we are immensely proud of our students,” said Kimberly Alford, director of instruction. The data showed the composite ACT scores for seniors increased by 3 points to 20.2. The state average for seniors in 2016 was 18.6.

Holston said the graduation rate was 84.1 and the District was ranked fourth for its focus on educating children with disabilities. However, the District’s focus should also be on improving K-12 education, Holston and Lumpkin said during Monday’s meeting.

Although the District showed proficiency in science, higher than average graduation rates and ACT scores, the District needs to improve proficiency in reading and math, Lumpkin and Hoslton said.

“We have to consistently work towards increasing the rigor, instruction and assessment to achieve this goal,” Lumpkin said.