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PRC School Board of Trustees hears update on bond

The Pearl River School District’s Board of Trustees met for their monthly meeting Oct. 10, and discussed a variety of topics.

After approving the Board minutes from last month’s meeting, and approving the docket, Superintendent Alan Lumpkin presented his report for the month.

During this time he recognized Paula Russel, Denise Rouse, Kimberly Sauls, Brittany Stewart and Jennifer Carr for their work in obtaining a $143,295 federal grant for the STOP Violence Prevention & Mental Health Training Program.

The fund will help provide mental health services to students and staff alike.

Following the presentation about the grant was a quick update on the bond construction occurring in the District from Business Manager Thomas “T.J.” Burleson.

Burleson said the lack of rain has helped with the speed of the construction, and that changes were occurring at various campuses.

At the Carriere campus additional drainage pipes were installed along with some concrete work.

The elementary campus was having a steel frame erected for the school’s cafeteria addition, while some foundation work for multiple buildings was completed.

Burleson said the District received multiple bids for the demolition of the old administration building on the elementary campus, but advised the Board to reject the bids because several companies didn’t meet the minimum licensing requirements to do the job.

Burleson suggested re-bidding the project to get proper bids.

A new transformer was going to be connected at the elementary campus on Oct. 11, which would require the power to be shut off at the school.

Instead the decision was made to conduct that work during the fall break so the power outage wouldn’t affect classes.

Following Burleson’s report Curriculum Coordinator Kimberly Alford addressed the Board and talked about the district’s accountability results from 2018-2019.

Alford said the District was given a grade of B, missing an A by seven points.

Alford then went through the District’s strengths and weaknesses.

Graduation rate, science proficiency and U.S. history proficiency were identified as strengths for the District.

Proficiency in math, proficiency in reading and getting the students college ready were all areas Alford said need improvement.

In other matters, Board President Elaine Voss said she wanted a better way to keep track of policies, and any changes that might be made to them by the District’s administration, or the Mississippi School Board Association.

After some discussion, Lumpkin said policies changed by the local administration would be a separate line item on the agenda in the future so the Board members can clearly distinguish which policies have been updated.

The last major topic of discussion was the changing of the Smoke Free Buildings policy and the Vandalism Protection policy.

Frazier recommended the definition the District has in its non-smoking policy for vaping be added to the smoke free buildings policy.

The change was unanimously agreed upon.

Frazier then brought up that the there are  vandalism policies that are redundant, and made a motion to amend them.

After discussion, the Board voted to make those changes official.

The Board also set a date of Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. to hold the Annual Board Walk Through.