By Hank Wiesner • Special to the Sentinel
RIPLEY — The Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, 5:15 p.m. meeting of the South Tippah Board of Trustees was held at the Oscar Shannon Building, 410 Greenlee Avenue, Ripley. Trustees addressed a variety of matters, including recognizing the district’s teacher of the year, adopting a literacy-based promotion policy that bans social promotion and renewing Superintendent Frank Campbell’s contract.
The board took the following actions:
—Was called to order, read the invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, and Vision and Belief statements.
—Approved the agenda.
— Heard the following public comments.
—Recognized Pine Grove elementary teacher Annette McBryde as the South Tippah School District Teacher of the Year.
—Recognized Nina Morrison as a National Board Certified teacher.
—Elected Board Officers as follows: Kerry Cockrell Chairman, Ron Sanderson Vice-Chairman, Wayne Jumper Secretary, and MSBA David Duncan Legislative Representative.
—Re-employed Price Elliott as Board Attorney.
—Approved the Superintendent’s Evaluation and renewed his contract. More information wasn’t immediately available this week.
—Approved the following personnel at Ripley Elementary School for 2013-2014: Amanda Walker Harrison, Latrice Colyer, Shawn Davis, Walter Hardaway and Melissa Criswell, all as substitutes.
—Approved Christopher Pruitt as a substitute teacher at Pine Grove for the school year 2013-2014:
—Approved Chris Mauney as a substitute bus driver at the South Tippah Bus Shop, effective 1/6/2014.
—Approved Deborah Michael as a substitute special needs monitor at South Tippah Schools (Bus Shop) for the year of 2013-2014.
—Approved Liza Pannell as a regular route bus driver at South Tippah Bus Shop effective 1/6/2014.
—Approved the following donations:
Ripley High School, $2548.80 from the RHS Basketball Boosters; South Tippah, $2500 from The Peoples Bank for “Celebrating Success” trophies; South Tippah, $273 from Pine Grove PTO for “Celebrating Success” dinner; South Tippah, $273 from Enrichment, Inc., for “Celebrating Success” dinner.
—Approved the following South Tippah School District fund raisers: Ripley High School, art department, to sell student made ceramic refrigerator magnets in shape of Mississippi with Ripley High School on them at $5 each; Ripley High School Band to sell Pizza kits.
—Adopted a Speech Language Screening policy dealing with voice and fluency disorders. According to the policy, this school district ensures that students will be screened for articulation, language, voice, and fluency disorders before the end of Grade 1. If a student fails the screener, the parent or legal guardian will be notified of the results of the screener. If a student fails the screener, the school district, in its discretion, may perform a comprehensive speech-language evaluation. A parent or legal guardian may provide written notification to the local school district opting out of the mandatory screening provided by the district. The provisions of this section shall not apply to homeschooled students.
—Adopted a Literacy Based Promotion policy. In compliance with the “Literacy Based Promotion Act,” it is the intent of the school district to improve the reading skills of Kindergarten – Third Grade students so that every student completing the Third Grade is able to read at or above grade level.
Immediately upon the determination of a reading deficiency, and subsequently with each quarterly progress report until the deficiency is remediated, the parent or legal guardian of a Kindergarten or First, Second or Third Grade student who exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading shall be notified in writing by the student’s teacher. A series of corrective actions will then be taken.
In compliance with the “Literacy-Based Promotion Act,” social promotion is prohibited in this school district. A student may not be assigned a grade level based solely on the student’s age or any other factors that constitute social promotion.
Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, if a student’s reading deficiency is not remedied by the end of the student’s third grade year, as demonstrated by the student scoring at the lowest achievement level in reading on the state annual accountability assessment or on an approved alternative standardized assessment for Third Grade, the student shall not be promoted to Fourth Grade.
A Third Grade student who does not meet the academic requirements for promotion to the Fourth grade may be promoted by the school district only for good cause. Good cause exemptions for promotion are limited to certain students.
A request for good cause exemptions for a Third Grade student from the academic requirements established for promotion for Fourth Grade can be made with proper documentation.
—Heard the Superintendent’s report.
—Heard Business Manager Nancy McGee’s report.
—Heard miscellaneous financial statements.
—Declared a single source for Collaborative Learning.
—Declared a single source for MindPlay Development and Publishing
—Approved a Collaborative Learning, Inc. additional Black Belts purchase agreement with South Tippah School District.
—Approved a MDOT agreement.
— Accepted property from City of Ripley.
—At the Dec. 17 board meeting, there was one public comment made by Kathy Shappley as follows: As allowed by the Mississippi Public Records Act, access to public records policy, anyone interested in what goes on at a school board meeting can attend such meeting or request copies of the minutes of the school board and/or claims dockets for a nominal fee. However, it is not always possible for interested parents to attend the board meetings or go to the District office to review the minutes. Therefore, publication of the South Tippah Board minutes that have appeared in the Southern Sentinel in recent months is a service to the community and a practice that many would like to see continued.