WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2012-2013 IN THE COAHOMA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT:
SUPERINTENDENT’S MESSAGE 2012-2013
Pauline J. Rhodes, Superintendent of Coahoma
County School District
The mission of the Coahoma County School District is to provide a high quality education
to each child in a safe and caring environment in order to produce contributing citizens
who will be able to excel in a global society.
The 2012-2013 school year promises to be one of excitement and anticipation as we continue the transition to teaching the common core standards. Administrators, teachers, and I, have all gone to numerous trainings this summer to prepare to implement several new programs. In addition to the common core standards, we have the following new programs, initiatives, and new personnel that will begin in fall of 2012:
SAT and MCT test data: The 2012 raw test scores have arrived in the district. We are busy analyzing the data and making decisions regarding personnel, professional development, and scheduling. We believe that we are still on schedule to meet our goal of becoming a “Successful” school district by 2014. The new accountability model will assign a letter grade A-F to the current labels assigned to schools and districts. In 2014 all of this will change with the implementation of a new state test based on the new common core standards. Also on the horizon are a new principal evaluation instrument and a new teacher evaluation instrument that will include student performance.
Sex Education Class: This new program is one that is getting a lot of attention across the state. The Mississippi legislature mandated that all Mississippi school districts implement an abstinence only or abstinence plus sex education curriculum beginning fall 2012. After reviewing the alarming statistics on teen pregnancies and STD’s in Coahoma County provided by Mississippi First, the Coahoma County School District decided to adopt an abstinence plus sex education policy. The name of the policy is CHART (Creating Healthy and Responsible Teens) Initiative funded by PREP (Personal Responsibility Education Program) Grant administrated by The Mississippi State Department of Health. The sex education curriculum will be taught in grades 6-9. Parents must sign a permission form allowing their student to participate in the class and boys must be taught separately from girls. We look forward to doing our part in reducing the number of students who become pregnant and who contract STD’s.
Bridge Class: Each year we have students who fall behind in their grade. The one question that I get asked most by parents and students is, “how can I get back in my right grade”? This year we will implement a “Bridge” class for students who are two or more grade levels below their peers. The class will be taught by a certified teacher using a computer based software program that will attempt to bring these students up to grade level. The challenge is that these students will be required to take the state test in math and language arts on grade level and their scores will count in the accountability model at their home school.
Procurement Cards: HB 2761 passed by the Mississippi Legislature approved procurement cards for teachers. For the first time in Mississippi, teachers will be issued a procurement card similar to a credit or debit card that will be used to purchase classroom supplies with their EEF money. Teachers will be accountable for these funds and will be required to keep receipts for five years.
Direct Deposit and One Single Payroll: HB 2761 also mandated that all Mississippi School Districts process a single monthly payroll to be direct deposited into employees’ accounts. This was very painful for my district employees because we began processing two pay periods in January 2012 and the employees have come to love it and depend on it, but we do plan to adhere to the law. Therefore beginning August 1, 2012 Coahoma County School District will process a single payroll that will be direct deposited into employees individual financial accounts.
As always, we welcome countless new staff persons, including certified teachers, certified and non- certified administrators to include a new business manager, Mr. Ross Saddler, a new curriculum director, Mr. Andrae Sims, a new head football coach, as well as several other new teachers and assistants. We continue our efforts to recruit a registered school nurse, English II teacher, music, and an art teacher.
Whereas we are excited about the many new programs and initiatives that await us this fall, our greatest challenge continues to be the recruitment and retention of high quality staff. Whatever you can do to assist us in our efforts to provide a high quality education to our students will be greatly appreciated. We welcome your visits and recommendations. Please feel free to visit us at our district office or our website at www.coahoma.k12.ms.us.