School board approves grant submission for future project

Staff Writer

The Starkville school board unanimously approved submitting a grant application for the LRNG Innovators Challenge last night at their monthly board meeting. If the $20,000 grant is won, Mississippi State University's Writing and Thinking Institute and Starkville schools will be working together on a project involving social studies and science, with an emphasis in writing and a technology component.

Third through fifth grade teachers in professional development would be a part of the joint project, and it would have the teachers learning new, creative ways to write lesson plans and get their students more involved. If the grant submission is chosen as a winner, the project plans will be detailed.

In other business, East Elementary school is slowly cataloging new books and re-cataloging old ones since the catalogues they previously used were destroyed in a storm back in 2013. As of Jan. 19, they're having to manually put all of the books into the system. Though the school board hoped that the cataloging would be done by February, it seems as though it will take a bit longer to get the library system back in order.

"Our high school and middle school are doing well with merging new [books] in, but our biggest concern right now is East Elementary," said Jody Woodrum, assistant superintendent for the Starkville school district.

Once the cataloging is done, student interest inventories will be taken and new books will be added to the library's collection. When the school, along with West Elementary, knows what books it will need the board will look into ways to add to its collection, including donations and possible grant money.

Also on the agenda was information gathered about seniors at Starkville High School and their post-graduate plans. The post-secondary schooling options were ranked much higher than the other options given. Going into the military or straight into the work force were the options outside of post-secondary education.

"Almost 60 percent of seniors are interested in a four year university, and the percentage of students opting to continue their education goes up to around 89 percent. I find that 89 percent to be relatively high," said Lewis Holloway, superintendent of the Starkville school district.

On a final note for the meeting, the board confirmed that Jim Young and his firm will be the bond counsel and financial advisor for the district as they deal with debt issues through the end of 2017.