SP Test Scores

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 20, 2010

SP school board gets early version of testing results

By Rupert Howell
and Billy Davis

South Panola School District received mixed results in statewide accountability standards, Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer explained to trustees at Tuesday night’s monthly board meeting.

Shaffer, moving school by school, described preliminary test score results that touch nearly all grades in the school district.

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 He noted areas of improvement and as well as areas where achievement was less than expected.

Much of the data Shaffer shared has yet to be released to the public and was under an “embargo” at the time of the school board meeting.

The Miss. Department of Education was set to lift the embargo on some raw test data for the MCT2 at midnight August 20.

The MCT2 tests language arts and math skills. It was given last spring to Mississippi public school students in grades 3 through 8.

Other test results set to be released are high school Subject Area Tests.

A final report is expected to be released September 2 by the State Commission on School Accreditation, Shaffer told The Panolian.

Shaffer said Mississippi school districts were given a “two-week window” to appeal the test results to the state Department of Education. South Panola did not appeal its scores, he said.

The district superintendent, after the school board meeting, later verified with state officials that some of the test data was not available for public review until September 2.

Tax shortfall note

Trustees also approved a request for an ad valorem tax shortfall note in the amount of  $153,113 for school year 2009-2010. The note is to cover the difference in the amount of tax revenue requested for last year’s budget that went unpaid or was underfunded.

Recently published unpaid tax listings, annually printed prior to the county’s Sale of Land for Taxes, indicates an eight percent increase in number of parcels with unpaid taxes compared to last year’s list.

Taxes have gone unpaid on 1,293 parcels as of Thursday, August 19 which may cause another shortfall next year. Much of the shortfall is recovered during the Land Sale held during the last of this month.

Board members accepted resignations of three certified teachers and two other employees while accepting recommendations to hire four certified teachers, five non-certified employees and approved additional employment of four teachers who will teach during the Zero Period, 6:45- 7:45 a.m. at South Panola HIgh School.Superintendent Shaffer is also teaching an afternoon speech class at the high school.

Trustees approved requests to maintain seven school bus turn-arounds. State law permits the county’s road department to maintain roads and driveways used by school buses to turn-around if the governing school board makes a request.

Turn-arounds approved included: 3548 Nash Road, 1024 Fudgetown Road, 1272 Will Steward Road, 826 McCain Road, 422 Hickory Hill Road, 501 Mid Valley Pipe Line (Enid Shores) and 2579 Baker Road.

Financial Director Suzanne Covington reported to trustees that the district had an active current balance of $3,954,966 after they approved payments of $708,968 for current expenses.

Attorney Colmon Mitchell informed the trustee board of a personnel hearing where they will make a decision concerning an employee whose contract was not renewed. Mitchell did not elaborate on specifics of the hearing stating that he wanted to keep board members unbiased and noted they would be receiving a transcript of testimony previously taken concerning the matter.

The district board meets regularly on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Parent Center on College Street.