School is almost here and local administrators are preparing for the 2018-19 academic year.
Some school systems are experiencing with changes in policy, while others are dealing with personnel matters, but all are putting the finishing touches on everything in the final days of summer vacation.
The Clarksdale Municipal School District teachers are back and school begins Monday with a full day.
Nothing special is planned for the district once school opens, but the teachers will have a chance to get together at George H. Oliver Elementary School.
“We have open convocation tomorrow at George Oliver,” CMSD superintendent Dennis Dupree said Tuesday. “That’s where all the teachers and all the staff meet tomorrow (Wednesday) at one place, welcoming back and that kind of stuff.”
Lee Academy begins school with a half day on Thursday as students will be dismissed at noon. Then, it is the regular hours going forward.
“We’re going to have just a little opening convocation with all of our students and I’ve invited and tried to find all of the local pastors from all of the local churches to kind of pray over our school year and hope everything goes well,” said Rone Walker, the head of school at Lee Academy.
The CMSD will have some personnel changes going for the school year.
Shawneequa Beal is the new George H. Oliver Elementary School principal and there are teaching vacancies that can be found at the Clarksdale Municipal School District website.
“We’re looking forward to having a good school year,” Dupree said. “We’re still looking for a few teachers. For the most part, we’re excited about this year.”
Lee will have several changes to the student handbook.
After 17 seniors vandalized school property toward the end of the 2017-18 school year, Walker announced the handbook would read that anyone who trespasses or vandalizes school property will be prosecuted.
The handbook changes did not stop there.
Lee will now get its school uniforms from Flynn O’Hara to provide more options.
“We have a no cell phone policy now,” Walker said. “All cell phones have to be turned into the office in the morning when students come to school.”
Walker said the purpose of students not being able to carry cell phones is to keep them engaged in the classroom. She noted parents who needed to reach their children could call her cell phone, the teachers’ cell phones or the school office.
The school day will also be shortened at Lee. While instructional time in the classroom will be the same, the lunch period will be shorter, providing students with the opportunity to partake in more extracurricular activities and spend more time doing homework and with their families.
The CMSD and Lee both have their share of sporting events to get things going.
Clarksdale High School opens its football season in a jamboree at Coahoma Community College on Friday and then travels to Vicksburg for the Red Carpet Bowl Aug. 17.
The Lady Wildcats volleyball season opens at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at home against Greenville.
Lee hosts a junior high football jamboree Thursday night, while the varsity team plays in a jamboree at North Delta School Friday night. The Fillies host Magnolia Heights School in soccer at 4 p.m. Thursday, while the softball team will host a tournament all day Saturday.
Lee will also have a campus cleanup from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
“We have a junior high jamboree Thursday night, so that’s exciting sportswise,” Walker said. “We have a varsity football jamboree Friday night and then we start our full week of school Monday.
“We’re just going to kick it off with reviewing the handbook, talking with students about discipline and policy and procedure, and then we’re just going to get into teaching.”