The Clarksdale School Board has approved signing the necessary documents to apply for and receive funds for a USDA Rural Development Grant to purchase a vehicle.
Clarksdale Municipal School District Superintendent Joe Nelson said the grant would be for a pickup truck police and school resource officers in the district could use. He does not know how much the grant would be for.
“They have a vehicle they move around the district and make home visits with,” Nelson said. “They go on trips to escort our athletic teams. It’s just for safety purposes.”
Nelson said the truck could be used to go to homes of students with unexcused absences.
“The data is originally showing that we went from 22 percent in excessive absences to 20 percent,” Nelson said. “Our goal is to get the numbers to the teens next school year. We have a plan that we’re rolling out to do that. We’re very excited to be able to do that next school year.”
Nelson also said if a student is not at school for more than five days, a home visit is made. He said that could lead to the student coming in, meeting with the principal and saying they will not miss school. If the student continues to miss school, the matter could wind up in court.
“We don’t want them to go through that process,” Nelson said. “We want them to be in school to learn. If they’re in the building in front of the teacher, they’re learning.”
In other business:
the board approved paying $26,000 to hire Mu Alpha Theta Consulting, LLC for J.W. Stampley 9th Grade Academy.
“The high school principal (Herbert Smith) recommended to bring in someone to assist them in getting students ready for our state math assessment and that particular company was awarded the bid,” Nelson said.
The state assessment tests are in April and May.
“They will review their standards students will be tested on,” Nelson said. “They will look at data they will be tested on. They will look at data. They will look at standards of what students need help in based on we haven’t been face-to-face 100 percent. We’re just going to be working on those skills and those standards to get students ready to complete the school year.”