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Poplarville Lower Elementary chosen as healthiest school in state

Poplarville Lower Elementary was chosen by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation as being the healthiest school in the state.

That was the announcement made at Monday’s Poplarville School Board of Trustees meeting. 

Superintendent Carl Merritt said that every school in the state typically submits applications for the designation, so for Poplarville’s Lower Elementary to be chosen over schools in so many larger districts is an accomplishment. With the designation comes a $50,000 grant that the school will use to continue to make the school a healthy place for the students, including materials and food.

In other business, Heidi Dillon, principal of the Middle School of Poplarville, gave an update on the school’s accountability progress.

Through the use of intervention classes, 30 percent of the students who were below their grade level are anticipated to move up a level or more in the area of English language arts.

Dillon said that 58 percent of the students who did not meet their grade level in math are expected to move up a level or more.

For those students who are still struggling, a plan to address their needs is being formed.

Also during the meeting the Board received the results of the most recent financial audit. Finance Director Samantha Sandifer said the audit received an unqualified opinion, which means the audit was clean.

The Board also approved a motion to adjust salary scales to reflect the $1,500 raise for certified personnel approved by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor. All administrators who have certifications will also receive the raise. In addition, all non-certified staff received a raise. Sandifer said non-certified personnel raises will be applied to their hourly rate and equate to about $500 per year. The raises will mean the District will have to absorb an increase of $200,000 annually.

The Board also approved a motion to enter into a contract with Sanico for rug and mop head cleaning services. Rossie Creel said the change will provide a monthly savings of about $2,600.

The next meeting of the Board will be May 13, at the Poplarville High School at 6 p.m.