PSD board readies for start of 2017-18 school year

By NIKKI SMITH,

“You can smell the wax on the floors, the drums from band camp and the whistles from football, that’s how you know school is close to starting back,” Petal School District Superintendent Dr. Matt Dillon said at a regular meeting of the board on Thursday.

The meeting, the last before the 2017-18 school year kicks off, dealt with items pertaining to the start of the school year and preparation for students returning to campus.

Andy Schoggin addressed the board to discuss student registration that took place last week. He said approximately 2,800 students had been registered before the meeting on July 20, which meant an average of about 700 students per day.

Schoggin said he asked Dillon and Petal Middle School Principal Michael Hogan to stand in the registration line at two peak times to test the length of time parents had to wait, which took them between 10 and 20 minutes.

Department heads presented changes to the 2017-18 handbooks, which were approved by the board.

The Petal School District school board and administrators also welcomed two new additions to the district as well. Petal High School assistant principal Andrea Short and Petal Primary School assistant principal Ashley Harvey attended the meeting with their families as they were welcomed into their new roles with the school district.

In other action, the school board:

•          Approved the minutes from the June 2017 meetings;

•          Approved policy changes;

•          Approved the following financial matters: claims docket, presented financial statements, GCA agreement for fiscal year 2017-18 and the presented shortfall resolution;

•          Approved the following single source purchases from Scholastic Inc.: Scholastic News at a cost of $7,411.25 for Petal Primary School and Weekly Readers for Petal Elementary School at a cost of $6,711.20;

•          Approved the following resignations: Layne Mayard as a teacher at Petal High School; Sonia Redmon and Willie Thompson as bus drivers; Sandy Williamson and Michelle Windham as part time teacher assistants at Petal Primary School; Stacy Windham as a teacher assistant at Petal Primary School and Katrina Pittman as a teacher assistant at Petal Elementary School;

•          Approved a funding change for Judy Stubblefield in Special Services;

•          Approved Tiffany Harrington’s change from part time teacher assistant to full time teacher assistant at Petal Primary School;

•          Approved Kathy Brown’s change from part time teacher assistant at Petal Primary School to full time teacher assistant at Petal Elementary School;

•          Approved the following recommendations: Cody Robertson as part time teacher assistant at Petal Primary; Cecilia Ortiz-Franco and Deven Prine as nutrition assistants at Petal Upper Elementary; Kelly Conway and Heather Reynolds as part time teacher assistants at Petal Primary; Debra Thrash as school psychologist; Robin Savage and Tina Turner as bus drivers;

•          Approved extra work contracts for three Special Services employees: Sharon Hillman for speech and language testing July 17 through 31; Leann Murphy for FY17 ESY teacher and Cassie Shows for FY17 ESY teacher assistant;

•          Approved substitute teachers for 2017-18;

•          Approved out of district student enrollment for three students in Perry County School District, Hattiesburg Public Schools and Lamar County School District with transportation and expenses to be paid by parents or guardians;

•          Approved five out of district student transfers;

•          Approved senior citizens contract with City of Petal for FY2017-18;

•          Approved out of state student travel for 2017-18;

•          Approved special services contracts between The University of Southern Mississippi Applied Behavior Analysis Services and Petal School District and Hattiesburg Clinic Dr. Robert Sevier and PSD for the 2017-18 school year.