New student body representative meets PRC School Board of Trustees

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 14, 2018

The Pearl River County School Board of Trustees held a brief meeting Thursday afternoon to address parent concerns and student safety concerns.

Tiffany Windham, parent of a PRC elementary school student, came before the Board to address her concerns in regard to a scheduling change. She said 10 minutes were recently cut from both recess and activity classes, resulting in less time for student activity and more time in core classes. She said she is concerned that students aren’t receiving enough time to play and exercise.

“We want our children to have adequate time to decompress, time to be healthy and active,

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time to socialize and build relationships and time to express themselves through the arts,”

Windham said.

Windham said although “brain breaks” have recently been implemented to give children a break from their curriculum, she claims children are not given breaks on a regular schedule. She asked that in the future these breaks be documented with outdoor trips being labeled as “recess.”

Pearl River Central Elementary Principal Dr. Lori Burkett said that no time has been taken away from recess, but rather the schedule has been shifted to allow for an additional day of physical education. Now instead of one day of P.E., children will have two. While this makes the daily recess time shorter, it actually adds to the amount of time students are spending in physical activities, she said.

PRCHS student Gage McClinton was recently elected as the Board’s student body representative and officially attended his first meeting in that position. Curriculum Director Kim Alford said he will serve as a non-voting member of the Board and will represent student interests at each school.

McClinton’s first task before the Board was to address security concerns. He asked if the Board had considered hiring additional school resource officers, as security was a high concern among students.

Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said an additional school resource officer has been hired and the District’s administration feels they now have a sufficient number of officers on staff.

McClinton also asked if the Pearl River County School District would be conducting CRASE training, which helps people respond to active attack situations, for its staff. He said every other District in the area had already conducted similar training and was wondering whether teachers in the District would as well. Lumpkin said individual teachers have gone through the course but they have not talked about District-wide training. He said he would look into the matter and discuss the possibility with other faculty members.