Arrow Tracks

  • Northside Blood Drive

    Posted by Sandi Beason at 4/16/2015


    Northside Elementary is planning its annual blood drive in memory of Perry Tyner Tate on Thursday, April 23.

    The event will be at the Arrow Drive school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in partnership with Mississippi Blood Services. Appointments are encouraged but walk-ups will be accepted.

    Tate was the daughter of Northside Principal Joy Tyner.  She died on Jan. 2, 2014 from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocystosis, a rare disease that affects 1 out of 1.2 million people. She was 23 years old.

    Tyner said the blood drive meets her goal of making sure Northside students participate in a philanthropic activity.

    “This also meets several goals set by our school health council,” she said. “And of course, it is especially meaningful to me that our health council wanted to host this event in Perry’s memory.”

    In addition to the blood drive, there will be a station in the Northside atrium where donors may be swabbed and registered to become part of the bone marrow registry.

    Donors must be at least 17 years old (or 16 with signed parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds for females and 130 pounds for men, and have a valid ID. For additional information on blood donations, visit or call Mississippi Blood Services at (888) 902-5663.

    “Perry and I shared many passions, among them, our love for children,” Tyner said. “She spent her teenage and early adult years in service to children. Please join me in honoring Perry’s service to others by giving the gift of life."

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  • Strings Program

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/15/2015

    Eastside’s strings class is always a popular option for fifth-graders.

    “I have 120 students this year at Eastside,” said longtime strings instructor Mary Rogers. “I start the students on violin, viola and cello. The string bass is too big for most fifth-graders to handle so that’s an option for later years.”


    Eastside Principal Cindy Hamil said this year has seen one of the highest ever participation rates.

    “This class gives students a base for reading music,” Hamil said. “It prepares them to be in the band or to continue in the strings program as they move into higher grades.”

    The Clinton Public School District offers the strings program at Eastside and Lovett elementary schools and also Clinton Junior High School. It is possible through a partnership with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

    On a recent day at Eastside, students were learning how to play the note of G.

    “We’ve already done A and D notes,” said fifth-grade violinist Abby Roman.

    Her classmate Jenna Willis said she wanted to join the class after going to a strings concert in fourth grade.

    “All the kids looked like they were having fun and it looked cool,” she said, adding that her parents are “very supportive” of her playing the viola.

    Hamil said she appreciates parents who make the investment for their children to participate in the class.

    “The kids learn so much and they’re so excited to play,” she said. “It’s one class they don’t want to miss.”

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  • State Testing

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/14/2015
    The end of the school year signals state testing, and this year, schools and students are seeing changes from prior years.
    Mississippi’s public schools this year administered tests designed by Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. These tests are divided into two main parts, performance based assessments and end of year assessments.
    Both parts test students’ proficiency in English/Language Arts and math, and also Algebra I and English II.
    “The Mississippi Department of Education gave us a five-week testing window for the performance based assessment,” said Kim Griffin, the Clinton Public School District’s director of testing and federal programs.
    Since CPSD is a 1:1 district and all students are issued computers, its schools did not have to rotate students through computer labs to take the online tests.
    The performance based assessment for math covered two units and the English/Language Arts performance based assessment covered three units. CPSD tested one unit per day during the testing schedule.
    “We didn’t know before the tests were administered how many questions would be on it so we scheduled it in chunks,” Griffin said.
    The end of year assessments will be administered in May and, like the performance based assessments, will be done online. The fifth- and eighth-grade science tests will also be online, but the subject area testing for Biology I and U.S. History will be paper-based since they are not PARCC tests.
    Third-grade reading tests
    Also new this year is the third-grade reading test that determines whether students will be promoted to fourth grade.
    “Our primary instructional focus at Northside is reading instruction,” said Principal Joy Tyner. “The Third Grade Summative Test isn’t really asking Northside to do anything that we haven’t been requiring of ourselves for years.”
    At Northside, she said, teachers develop units of study designed to capture students’ interest. Skill instruction is integrated into these units. Northside also completes diagnostic checks on all students at the beginning of each school year.
    “It’s comparable to a doctor gathering vital signs,” Tyner said. “When we know our starting point we can work on our mission that ‘Every Child Grows.’”
    Classroom instruction is supplemented with programs that can be used at home and at school, including Accelerated Reader, the online library myOn, Study Island, RAZ kids and Tumble Books.
    “We identify students who need reading interventions early in the year and provide extra help for the students and their families who are identified as below grade level,” Tyner said. “Northside also does ‘check ups’ throughout the year to monitor the vital signs.”
    The school communicates frequently with parents of students identified as at risk of failing the third grade reading assessment, and sets up conferences with these parents to offer additional support.
    “Based upon the results of the screeners suggested by the Mississippi Department of Education, Northside had fewer than 11 percent of our students ‘at risk’ and we feel confident that the percentage will be even lower when the actual test is taken on April 14,” she said.
    Taking the tests
    This year’s state testing has been in the news a lot, but the Clinton Public School District’s priority is and always has been its students, said Assistant Superintendent Tim Martin.
    Tests are administered in the mornings, so students need plenty of rest the night before and a good breakfast so they aren’t hungry in class.
    “State testing can be stressful but we ask parents to encourage children to do their best,” he said. “We’re taking the tests one unit at a time. The performance based assessments went smoothly and we anticipate that the end of year testing will also.”
    To view the CPSD testing schedule, visit
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  • Ambassadors at Chicagoland

    Posted by communications intern Chelsey Hutchins at 4/13/2015

    The Ambassadors Show Choir of Clinton Junior High and Sumner Hill Junior High traveled to compete in the Annual Chicagoland Showcase, earning their 21st consecutive Grand Champion title.

    For the first time, the Ambassadors traveled to Chicago to compete in the showcase on March 6 at John Hersey High School. They were one of 12 middle schools from across the nation to compete.

    With wintry weather passing through the region, they had quite a trip getting there. It was sunny and 80 degrees when both buses left Clinton. They had a 1-hour delay after figuring out how to get the air conditioner going on a brand new bus. Both buses were on their way to Memphis, and they planned to have dinner at the Rendezvous restaurant. They were able to get in and out of the restaurant to continue traveling.

    In Memphis, it was 30 degrees and snow was falling heavily, and only one lane on the interstate was visible. Conditions worsened as the buses traveled north. When an 18-wheeler jackknifed, the girls’ bus came within inches of hitting the truck and slid off of the road.

    “Very scary for sure,” said Kerri Burnside, Eastside teacher and one of the parents on the bus. “The slide was a gradual slide, and most of the girls on the bus didn’t even know what happened.”

    The bus was stuck, and they waited 2 hours to be pulled out.

    Meanwhile, the boys’ bus was 16 miles ahead at a truck stop waiting on the other bus. The boys took advantage of the time and had a snowball fight. After being parked in heavy snow, they discovered that they were stuck. Parents went into the service station to purchase deicing material to get snow off of the tires, and they were headed to meet the girls’ bus.

    When the girls’ bus was headed to the exit ramp around 1:45 a.m., they got stuck again. They were not pulled out of the snow until 7:45 a.m. It took 7 hours for the Ambassadors to travel 90 miles from Memphis.

    “Everyone was great,” said Tim Martin, assistant superintendent and another parent on the bus. “You couldn’t have asked for more.”

    Due to unexpected delays, the drivers reached the maximum amount of time they could drive before resting. They then had to wait 4 hours for a bus company out of Chicago to send a relief driver. After spending 29 hours on the buses, the Ambassadors arrived at the Blue Man Group at 7:30 p.m. Everyone was safe and they put on an amazing performance the next day.


    “Even with all of the adventure and sometimes uneasy moments, our win as Grand Champions in Chicago was worth it all,” said Burnside.

    During the competition season, the Ambassadors practice three times a week to prepare for performances. The group is made up of 54 singers and dancers in grades 7-9.

    “They work very long hours to prepare and strive to be their very best at all of our competitions,” said Chap Phillips, booster president of the Ambassadors.

    Other competitions and placings during 2015 include:

    Jackson Academy Show Choir Invitational

    ·      Grand Champion

    ·      Outstanding Vocals

    ·      Outstanding Visuals

    ·      Outstanding Overall Effect

    Opelika Southern Showcase

    ·      Grand Champion

    ·      Best Vocals

    ·      Best Overall Effect

    ·      Best Choreography

    Homewood Southern Showcase

    ·      Grand Champion

    ·      Best Vocals

    ·      Best Overall Effect

    ·      Best Choreography

    Chicagoland Showcase

    ·      Grand Champion

    ·      Best Female Vocalist

    “We have had a total of 21 competitions since the Ambassadors was formed,” said Erin Linton, choir director of the Ambassadors. “I am so proud of this group and all of their hard work and dedication to this year’s competition shows.”

    The competition season is over, but they will perform at the Ambassadors’ and Attache’s Spring Revue beginning April 29.

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  • Little Six Champions

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/10/2015


    Both the girls and boys basketball teams at Clinton Junior High won Little Six championships this year.

    “Both teams worked hard on and off the court,” said Christie Peterson, first-year coach for the CJHS Lady Arrows. “I told my girls it’s really hard to beat a team three times in one season. They were ready for that (championship) game. They wanted it. They worked hard all season long and it paid off.”

    The girls (14-3) fought their way through to the finals and beat Warren Central after losing to them twice in the regular season.

    “We reminded them that at tournament time, the records didn’t matter,” Peterson said. “Every team started with a clean slate.”

    The boys’ team (15-2) met Madison Central in the championship game after splitting the regular season games with them, Clinton giving Madison its only loss.

    “Our losses to Madison and Warren Central were hard for the boys,” said Leonard Taylor, coach of the boys’ team. “It was good that we saw these teams again in the championship. We had to beat Warren Central to make it to the championship game to face and ultimately beat Madison Central.”

    Taylor said the boys and girls teams supported each other by coming to each other’s games.

    “That’s really important when you are trying to build a program,” he said. “Our mantra for the season has been ‘We all we got, we all we need,’ and I think the kids really responded well to that.”

    The last time both the boys and girls teams won in the same year was 1999.

    “This is a great accomplishment and we are extremely proud of our basketball teams,” said CJHS Assistant Principal Brian Fortenberry. “To sweep the Little Six championships in basketball is not something that happens very often, so this is special. Congratulations to our players and coaches for representing our community and our school in such an outstanding manner.”

    The Little Six Conference includes Clinton, Brandon, Madison, Northwest Rankin, Pearl, Terry, Vicksburg, and Warren Central.

    Congratulations to these teams and Go Arrows!
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  • Laptop Return Schedule

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/8/2015
    As the school year winds down, the Clinton Public School District technology staff will be checking student computers for damage and collecting them for storage over the summer.
    As part of the 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative, all CPSD 6-12 graders are issued MacBook Air laptops, chargers and large, padded backpacks. Students can take the laptops home but they must be returned at the end of the school year.
    Laptops will be collected at each school during final exam week, as students complete their last exam.

    Student laptop assessment schedule:

    Monday, April 20 - 7th graders
    Tuesday, April 21 - 8th graders

    Wednesday, April 22 - 10th
    Thursday, April 23 - 11th

    Friday, April 24 - 12th
    Monday, April 27 - 9th

    Wednesday, April 29 - 6th
    Thursday, April 30 - make-up at each school

    Friday - May 1 (morning only) - make-up at school

    Fines will be assessed if there is physical damage to the laptop, which could include cracked screens, liquid damage, enclosure damage, missing or sticking keys, and other physical issues. CPSD will not assess fines for cases. Fines will be communicated to school bookkeepers to be handled by the school before exams.

    Damage Fees:
    $50, first offense this school year
    $100, second offense this school year

    $150, third offense this school year

    “Seniors will be required to turn in devices, working chargers and backpacks and will be assigned charges if there are any damages or missing equipment,” said Sharon Tompkins, student database manager. “We will check all of these items when we assess their device.”
    Underclassmen will only turn in their laptops, and will keep their backpack and chargers over the summer. They must return to registration in August with their backpack and charger.
    Students who do not return with a backpack will be fined $50 for a new one. Students are responsible for purchasing an authentic Apple charger if they return in August without the one they were issued by CPSD.
    If a student withdraws or transfers over the summer, records will not be released until they return their backpack and charger.
    Over the summer, the technology staff will upgrade software on the computers to prepare them for the 2015-16 school year. Laptops will be issued to students at each school on registration days.
    Students who are new to the district and incoming sixth-graders will be required to attend a Meet Your Mac session with a parent or guardian before they receive a laptop. These sessions will be held at Clinton High School the first week of school. These students will not start the first day of school with a laptop.
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  • Teachers of the Month

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/7/2015
    Congratulations to the Froghead Grill Teachers of the Month of March! Each of these educators received a gift card to Froghead Grill restaurant and a certificate suitable for framing to hang in their classrooms. They are:
    Clinton Park Elementary, Amy Elmore (center). Presenting her award are (from left) counselor Dru Dilley and Principal Suzanne Hollingshead:
    Northside Elementary, Matt Hines. Presenting his award is Principal Joy Tyner:
    Eastside Elementary, Rhonda Browning. Presenting her award is counselor Russ Booth:
    Lovett Elementary, Janet Bridgforth. Presenting her award is Principal Mike Pope:
    CJHS, Jason Woodcock (left). Presenting his award is Assistant Principal Brian Fortenberry:
    Sumner Hill, Chris Young. Presenting his award is Assistant Principal Christie Claxton:
    CHS, Alix Williams. Presenting her award is Principal Bobby Hathorn:
    CHS Career Complex, Kathy Greene. Presenting her award is Principal Brett Robinson:
    Clinton Alternative School, Ambreia Tucker (left). Presenting her award is Principal Teresa Duke:
    Congratulations to all these teachers and thank you to Froghead Grill for sponsoring this program!
    Go Arrows! 
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  • Tough Cars, Tough Kids

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 4/2/2015

    The Clinton High School Anchor Club is planning its fourth-annual car show fundraiser. 

    Tough Cars for Tough Kids will be held at O’Reilly Auto Parts in Clinton on Saturday, May 2. Pre-registration is $15 until April 20, and on-site registration is $20 from 8-9 a.m. the day of the event.

    Trophies will be awarded in two categories, cars and trucks. There will also be an overall winner and an O’Reilly’s Favorite. Awards will be presented at 11:30 a.m.

    “The first three shows enabled us to raise more than $3,000 for Batson Children’s Hospital,” said CHS teacher and Anchor Club sponsor Megan Berry. “Come out and enjoy food, music, fellowship and door prizes as we raise money for an excellent cause.”

    This year all proceeds will benefit Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation. The sole mission of MTK is to build and maintain a year-round, totally accessible camp facility to be used by children and adults with serious illnesses and/or physical and mental life challenges.

    Many campgrounds in Mississippi host special-needs camps, but none of them have been built specifically to meet the needs of the physically challenged. Founders of MTK want to do just this and are working on building a camp facility on 326 acres in northwest Copiah County.  

    The Anchor Club is also selling T-shirts for $10 and tank tops for $15, in youth and adult sizes.

    “We are in need of participants, door prizes and coupons, goodies, etc. to put in goodie bags for the participants,” she said.

    To sign up or for more information, contact Berry at For more information about MTK, visit

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  • Pre-Season All Region baseball player

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 3/30/2015
    JohnnieMoncure Clinton High School senior Johnnie Moncure is one of Perfect Game USA’s pre-season All-Region high school baseball players.
    The program recognizes the top high school baseball athletes across the nation. Johnnie earned Honorable Mention on the program’s Southeast region listings.
    “Johnnie has been a very solid outfielder and hitter for us,” said Arrows head baseball coach Eddie Lofton. “Johnnie bats in the two hole for us and can do a lot of things with the bat. He is perfect for this spot because of his ability to bunt, hit and run, and he really does a great job of finding a way to get on base.”
    Lofton said Johnnie “has a great work ethic” and will further his baseball career at Alcorn State University.
    "Watching Johnnie play baseball and bond with different teammates throughout his high school career has been an exciting time for us,” said his mother, Carla Moncure Hughes. “It is great when you can say your son plays for one of the best high school athletic programs in the state of Mississippi, but it puts icing on the cake when you can also say he is part of Mississippi’s highest achieving school district.”
    Perfect Game USA is the world’s largest scouting report service, reporting on thousands of young players each year. Along with holding the top tournaments and showcase events, Perfect Game also serves as a resource for college recruiters and Major League Baseball scouts.
    “To receive the Perfect Game Preseason All-American or All-Region Award is a tremendous achievement for these high school student-athletes,” said Jerry Ford, president of Cedar Rapids, IA-based Perfect Game USA. “We are proud to recognize their talent as they prepare for their careers playing collegiate or professional baseball.”
    For more information visit View Johnnie’s profile page here:
    Go Arrows!
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  • Eastside Health Fair

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 3/27/2015
    Eastside’s annual health fair will include events and activities to promote healthy lifestyles.
    The event is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 16 in the school cafeteria, gym and back parking lot. Events include a bike rodeo, fire extinguisher demonstration, fitness classes and health screenings.
    “This is our second year to hold this event and we feel it is important to help our students recognize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle even at their young age,” said event planner and Eastside teacher Catherine Pannell.
    The back parking lot will be blocked off, so attendees are encouraged to park in the school’s front lot.
    “There will be various community partners set up in the cafeteria giving out health information and performing health screenings,” Pannell said. “The Clinton Fire Department will be set up in the back and will show attendees the proper way to use fire extinguishers. We will have a bike rodeo for students to learn how to use bike signals and exercise bike safety.”
    There will also be fitness classes in the gym.
    The health fair is one of many ways Eastside encourages healthy lifestyles. The school holds two healthy fundraisers annually that raise funds and show students that exercising is fun.
    “We also participated in the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation ‘Kick off to Run’ Fun Lap,” Pannell said.
    Zumba classes are offered at Eastside after school twice a week, and some teachers also participate in a weight management program through Blue Cross & Blue Shield and Active Health.
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