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Goals and survey lead SSD agenda

September 17, 2012

The Starkville School District Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting at noon Tuesday at the Greensboro Center to discuss its annual goals and calendar, take a legislative survey from the Mississippi School Boards Association and approve an agreement between the SSD and CompassLearning, Inc.

SSD Superintendent Lewis Holloway said one outdated strategic goal the board will revisit is becoming a high-performing district by 2012, with 65 percent of all students scoring proficient or above on state tests.

Now that 2012 has arrived, he said, the SSD has met that goal in some areas but not others, and it is time to set a new goal based on a federal model the Mississippi Department of Education administers.

“Based on our current rate, we’re supposed to get 85 percent of our students working on grade level within the next six years,” Holloway said. “That creates about a 2 percent increase per year for us to get to that level. (The old goal of 65 percent) will not meet the new standard over the next six years. I think (Tuesday’s meeting is) going to be a great discussion of what the board thinks is important that the school district be working on.”

Holloway said the MSBA legislative survey will take up the bulk of Tuesday’s meeting. The survey says the MSBA will use the board’s responses to direct MSBA lobbying efforts during the 2013 legislative session. Topics on the survey include transitioning from elections to appointments for superintendents, funding changes for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, charter schools, teacher pay, and more.

“We are asking that each board discuss this survey at a board meeting, complete a single survey and return it to MSBA,” the survey says. “We are not asking each individual board member to submit a survey.”

According to the board agenda, the agreement between the SSD and CompassLearning would cost $131,595 in total, with Title I paying $62,000 and SSD funds paying the remainder. Holloway said the agreement would further integrate computers and classwork if approved.

“(CompassLearning) is a software company that provides computerized instruction in all areas in kindergarten through eighth grade,” Holloway said. “It will allow parent access to instruction at home 24/7.”

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