DREAM grant, full time substitute teachers hired

From staff reports


The Louisville Municipal School Board of Trustees received an update on the Dillard’s Reading, Enrichment, Arts, Mathematics and Science After-school and Summer Tutorial Enrichment Program (DREAMS) grant implementation on November 14.

Donna Shea and Dr. Teresa Jayroe of Mississippi State University reviewed with the board that the program had started in the schools and was helping students during the school day and after. The program presently employees 12 interventionists at the schools along with a program coordinator.

Dr. Jayroe added that the partnership with MSU allowed two MSU professors to help provide training to the interventionists and a staff member to help with coordinating the program.

The program presently helps 240 children in grades Kindergarten to 4th grade work on skills to enhance their performance and grades. The afterschool program is from 2:45 p.m. each day to 4:45 p.m. each day.

Dr. Jayroe noted that officials from the U.S. Department of Education had visited the program and were excited about the beginning of the program and the possible benefits and future results of the program.

MSU and the LMSD school district received the funding from the 21st Century Community Learning Center program grant in October.

DREAMS is an evidence-based curricula with strategies to increase vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension, mathematics fluency and number sense, problem solving and critical thinking skills. Instruction will complement the students’ regular academic program by emphasizing active, hands-on learning activities. The grant is an almost $2 million award which will be used in the upcoming years to improve student achievement.

The District is in its final year of the CAPPS program funding which was funded from a 21st Century Community Learning Center program grant that focused on 5th grade and up.

The LMSD Trustees also hired 6 full time substitute teachers with one at each school to help meet the qualifications of the affordable healthcare act.

Under the new federal law, the term full time employee means an employee who is employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week in any month for employers of more than 50 persons.

To avoid any substitute falling into this category inadvertently the district went ahead and hired on full time substitute for each campus with benefits and insurance.

Superintendent Ken McMullan noted that each school usually had at least one teacher out each day and that this way a teacher would be guaranteed for the classroom and the district should not fall in violation to the federal law.

The new full time teacher substitutes would be paid at the assistant teacher pay rate and receive benefits.

McMullan noted that even if no classrooms needed the substitute that their was always plenty of assignments to be completed on campus which the the substitute could than cover.

In other business, the trustees:

• Approved the financial reports claims docket and activity funds checks along with the bank balance and fund statements.

• Approved the new Speech screening policy. The new policy is required by new legislation in the state.

• Approved Linda Hampton of the P16 council community council to receive about 20 pages of material at no charge of data of the school’s parental involvement data. Hampton noted that the P16 group was in place to help the district move the schools forward. “We embrace parental involvement in the district,” said Hampton and they were hoping to get information to help encourage more parental involvement.

• Approved Title VI funds to purchase $49,383 in technology upgrades to enhance wireless ability at most schools.

• Approved annual District test security plan.

• Approved offering a Boot camp for biology state test. The boot camp is set for Dec. 2 and open to all students.

• Approved hiring John Mayo as local board attorney.

• Discussed and reviewed the STAR project. Penny Hill reviewed the website update which included pacing guides and curriculum, Common core information along with professional development links and resources for teachers.

• Hill also reviewed with the board the latest STAR reading and math results for district. “We know where we have problems and we are working on them,” said Hill. The new testing data reflected August to October measures for grades 3 to 8 compared to last year testing. Hill noted that the data driven information allowed the district staff to target areas and schools that needed direct intervention.

• Provided board members with packets of the district policies that need revision due to new state or federal policies. The board will make the revisions and approve in an upcoming meeting.

• Approved three sixteen section land leases.

• Approved starting the process to sell three old school properties. The board approved the future sale of Old Gum Branch School property, Rocky Hill School property and Bond School property.

• The board held an executive session on student transfer, student issues, personnel and the moving of the Nanih Waiya Attendance Center office from its present location to the building closest to the entrance.

The next regular trustee meeting is December 10 at 5:30 p.m.