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School board hears update on tutoring at middle school for students with disabilities

Poplarville Middle School Principal Heidi Dillon updated the Poplarville School Board of Trustees on the school’s efforts in the Additional Targeted Support and Improvement Program.

The school was placed in the program beginning in the 2016 to 2017 school year to improve the test results of students with disabilities, according to previous coverage.

There are 35 students with disabilities in the school and all of them are receiving tutoring from a certified teacher in groups of no more than three students, Dillon said.

Teachers use test data to give targeted support for individual students, Dillon said. Some of the students still need to learn basic skills like phonics, but the staff want to ensure the students have those skills before they leave the school, Dillon said.

In the general population of students, more were on grade level in English than math. However, in the ATSI students, more were on grade level in math than English, and investigating why the ATSI students had a different trend than the general population of students may give the school useful information, Dillon said.

In a separate matter, the Board approved the $944 2019 to 2020 Mississippi Professional Educators Classroom grant awarded to Marie Davis at the Middle School of Poplarville. Davis will use the funds to purchase robotics equipment, electronics and books related to STEM that students can use during their advisory period, Dillon said. The middle school does not have a robotics program, Dillon said.

In a separate matter, the Board approved the restraint and seclusion quarterly report, which shows there have been no incidences of restraint or seclusion from Aug. 6 to Nov. 4.

In other business the Board:

—Approved revising the payroll dates in the school district so that paydays are spread out in June 2020 and July 2020 more evenly.

—Set the date for a work session with the Board and new leadership on Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. at the District office. Assistant Superintendent Konya Miller will begin her new job as Superintendent in January.

—Updated its test security plan to show a change in the director from Konya Miller to Wendy Bond. Bond has been attending training sessions with Miller for the last three years, Miller said.

—Approved changing the title of School Resource Officer to Campus Police Chief.

—Approved the lease agreement with Double Sixteen Hunting to use section 16-2S-14W.

The next Board meeting will be on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Poplarville High School Library. The meeting location is being moved for the next meeting due to renovations in the Board room and because the next meeting will include student recognition for fall sports.