Superintendent ‘guardedly optimistic’ about scores 7/2/13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Superintendent ‘guardedly optimistic’ about scores

By Rupert Howell

Incoming South Panola School Superintendent Tim Wilder gave an upbeat report on the district’s 3-8 grade test scores that he had seen just prior to Friday’s special meeting where trustees approved a budget for the 2013-14 school year.

Wilder was guardedly optimistic about data he briefly had time to study, stating it was “very encouraging other than a couple of spots,” but asked trustees not to take his current evaluation of the data as a final evaluation.

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Wilder said he expected to have preliminary information on high school test scores soon, noting the high school scores would have a great impact on the overall school rating.

Wilder delivered the information to a quorum of trustees who were meeting to approve a budget of $39,576,700 in expenses, with $10,029,914 needed from local sources for operations and an additional $971,000 needed for debt service.

General obligation bonds require $669,000 of the debt service and the $302,000 will service the ongoing three mill levy used to purchase and maintain buildings and buses.

School officials approved the purchase of 15 new buses at an earlier meeting at a cost of approximately $1.2 million and Friday approved new roofs for  Batesville Elementary School’s Primary Building, Batesville Intermediate School’s Cafeteria and the Discoveryville building and boiler room and Pope School’s office and auditorium.

In his last meeting as South Panola’s interim superintendent, Mike Foster told trustees, “This should get all your roofs under warranty. It’s a good plan and good use of taxpayers’ money.”

At the end of Friday’s meeting Foster told school officials, “I have enjoyed it (as interim superintendent) and appreciate the opportunity to work with y’all. I feel good about the direction this school is going.”