School accountability results released Friday show that the Clinton Public School District is once again an “A” district, the highest possible academic rating a Mississippi district can attain.
Even as the accountability model changed this year, we were still able to score high enough to maintain our A rating. Very few school districts earned an A rating, and we were one.
The rankings were officially announced at halftime of Friday’s football game, where the district and each school was formally honored for its 2014-15 rating.
Behind the numbers
Under the new state accountability system, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools are given different point values and rated on different scoring scales.
The differences are due to increased components in higher grades. More subject areas are tested at the middle and high school levels, so these schools’ assigned point value is higher under the new accountability model.
For instance, for a high school to earn an A rating, it must have an overall score of at least 695.
“Clinton High School and Sumner Hill scored 719, which was well above what was needed to earn an A rating,” Martin said.
Although they are separate schools, Sumner Hill and CHS receive the same rating under the new system.
At the middle grade levels, schools that administer the fifth- and eighth-grade science test must score at least 518 to earn an A rating. Eastside Elementary’s score is 520 and Clinton Junior High’s score is 584, so both of these schools are A-rated schools.
Elementary schools that do not administer the state science test must earn at least 449 points to earn an A rating. These points are calculated based on scores and also whether students met their academic growth expectations.
“At Lovett, Northside and Clinton Park, there is no growth calculation for science since this test is only given in fifth- and eighth-grades,” Martin said.
Lovett earned 487 points and Clinton Park earned 449 points, making them both A-rated schools. Northside earned 442 points, making it a B-rated school.
The same scale used for high schools is also used to calculate the ranking for the entire district. CPSD’s overall score is 701, well above the 695 threshold for an A ranking.
This year’s theme is “I Go to Clinton Park, What’s Your Super Power?” The theme encourages the school’s kindergarten and first-grade students to be “super” in reading.
“We have planned an awesome night full of super family activities,” said Suzanne Hollingshead, principal.
Throughout the entire school, students will have a number of activities to choose from. There will be games, face painting, balloon animals, sand candy, a bounce house, Kona ice, and more.
The school’s book fair will be held during the day that Monday through Friday (Oct. 20-24), allowing students a chance to purchase Accelerated Reader books. Proceeds from the book fair directly benefit the school.
Hollingshead encouraged students and parents to wear superhero attire on Family Read Night to help get students excited about reading.
“Students, parents, and other special guests will be able to participate in very exciting reading activities,” she said.
The event is not just limited to Clinton Park, she said, but is open to the whole community. Parents and students in other Clinton Public School District schools are invited to dress as superheroes and enjoy the event.
Composer Tom Shelton will conduct “A Program of Treble Voices,” a Memorial Day production, at 8 p.m. Monday, May 25, 2015 in Carnegie Hall.
Shelton is no stranger to the Sumner Hill Junior High School choirs. He has worked with them at State Honor Choir and has also judged them in various competitions.
“We have the utmost respect for Mr. Shelton and it is a tremendous honor for our girls choir to be invited to perform with him at Carnegie Hall,” said Sumner Hill Choir Director Chris Young.
Shelton extended a special invitation to the Sumner Hill girls’ choir to perform with other select choirs across the nation.
The students will arrive in New York City on May 22. On the days prior to the concert they will rehearse with Shelton and spend their free time sight-seeing in the city. The Memorial Day concert will include works by Clausen, Shelton, Handel, Raminsh, Papoulis, and arrangements by Naplan and Andaya.
After Monday’s concert, they will take a post-concert cruise around lower Manhattan.
The 21 girls going on the trip will be conducting several fundraisers to help cover the cost of travel, lodging and other needs.
On Saturday, Oct. 18, they will kick off their fundraising efforts with a car wash at Ace Hardware on Clinton Parkway from 9 a.m. - noon.
On Nov. 8, they will host a garage sale at Summer Hill. This is expected to be the most successful fundraiser that the girls’ choir will host.
Also during the month of November, they will be selling Simply Sheets and Gourmet Coffee.
After coming off a state championship season, head track and field coach Johnathan Perkins has earned two statewide awards.
Perkins received the 2014 National Federation of State High School Associations’ state award for girls track and field. He is now eligible for the regional award from the NFHS.
The award is part of an annual program by the NFHS, which oversees high school athletics nationwide and recognizes a Coach of the Year in about 20 different sports in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association will recognize Perkins and Mississippi coaches in other sports at the Spring Legislative Council Meeting in April 2015.
Perkins also received the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's 2014 Girls High School Track & Field Coach of the Year for Mississippi. He was presented the award during the Sept. 26 pep rally at Clinton High School.
This honor is based on the performance of the 2014 State Champion CHS track & field team and is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the student athletes and coaching staff.
During the 2014 season, the Lady Arrows’ earned state championships in the 4x100 meter relay and the 4x200 meter relay. They both also made the Top 100 US National High School rankings.
The 4x100 meter relay team was ranked No. 8 out of 69,747 teams and the 4x200 meter relay team was ranked No. 7 out of 38,865 teams nationwide.
Team members included Monica Mosley, Justice Sims, Harper Newell and Demi Washington.
Other 2014 State Champion event winners included:
- Harper Newell, 100 meter hurdles
- Demi Washington, 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash
- Monica Mosley, 300 meter hurdles
- Jasmine Johnson, pole vault
In addition to the state titles, the Lady Arrows relay team was named a Milesplit All-American Team.
Clinton Junior High’s volleyball team celebrated a stellar season, ending with a 13-2 record.
“I’m proud of our girls and the effort they put in this season,” said coach Meredith Jierski.
Jierski coaches the team with her husband Cory Jierski.
The overall record at the end of the season was 13-2, with a regular season record of 10-1. Opponents this year were Pearl Middle School, Madison Middle School, Germantown Middle School, Brandon Middle School, Northwest Rankin Middle School and Jackson Academy.
“We played in one tournament, the Jackson Academy Invitational, defeating Brandon Middle School and Oxford Middle School but falling to Jackson Academy,” Meredith Jierski said.
On the roster are Logan Parker, team captain Mary Claire Ford, Annelise Adams, Kaylee Peterson, Summer Johnson, Megan Holmes, Nicole Ingram, team captain Krystal Hulsey, Regina Yen, Morgan Ray, Mallory Burnside, Averi Wall, Madolin Haselhorst, Avia Hathorn, Abigail Farr, and managers Rebecca Arregin, Anna Lauren Lee and Abbi Hulsey.
To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, the Clinton Public School District will recognize National School Lunch Week from Oct. 13-17. The theme, “Get in the Game with School Lunch,” will feature events and activities that promote the importance of balancing healthy eating with physical activity and exercise.
National School Lunch Week will emphasize the healthy foods that are offered daily at CPSD. “School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, and less fat and sodium,” said Regina Ducksworth, director of Child Nutrition. “National School Lunch Week is the perfect time to celebrate all of the healthy options we’re serving every day in our schools.”
CPSD will promote school lunch with decorations and activities all week. Keba Laird, Child Nutrition supervisor said, “We’ve lined up some exciting activities to help students understand the connection between how eating a healthy school lunch benefits them.”
Laird said students in grades K-1 will have an opportunity to participate in a sports-themed art contest in which roller skate rink passes will be awarded to the top winners. Also, there will be select prize days for K-8 students in which they will be awarded items like sports pencils and fun football face tattoos. Students in grades K-12 who eat school lunch the entire week of National School Lunch Week will have their names entered into a grand prize drawing for a prize package that includes a T-shirt, water bottle, and sports bag.
“National School Lunch Week is always a celebration. It's our way of giving ourselves that pat on the back,” said Marquissia Mack, food service manager at Clinton Junior High School. “There is nothing like being able to rejuvenate and energize our students with one of our healthy, delicious meals. This promotion highlights the things we do on a daily basis.”
Laird said the CPSD food service staff enjoys sprucing up cafeterias during National School Lunch Week.
“We’re building in some friendly competition among the food service managers and staff at each school by hosting a National School Lunch Week cafeteria decoration contest,” Laird said. “The school foodservice manager and staff that do the best job in decorating their cafeteria to promote this year’s theme will win a special appreciation prize package.”
The staff will also wear school football jerseys in support of National School Lunch Week and to bolster team spirit as the CHS football team faces Northwest Rankin on Oct. 17.
The federally funded National School Lunch Program provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to students everyday. The program, which has been serving the nation's children for more than 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards like offering fruits and vegetables every day, serving whole-grain rich foods, and limiting fat, calories, and sodium.
The “Get in the Game with School Lunch” campaign is sponsored by the non-profit School Nutrition Association and Chobani Greek Yogurt. For more information about schools meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.
Through a partnership with Hinds Community College and the Mississippi University for Women, a group of Clinton High School students got out of the classroom and into a real-world cooking demonstration.
On Sept. 19, students enrolled in Culinary Arts Technology II at the CHS Career Complex took a field trip to Hinds to see a fish fabrication demo. The demo was conducted by Chef Erich Ogle, head of the MUW Culinary Arts program. He was assisted by Chef Alexei Huguley, who teaches the 2+2 (Hinds and MUW) partnership program.
“Chef Erich and MUW donated their time and resources to put together this informative demo for our students,” said Chef Adam Williams, instructor of the CHS Culinary Arts Technology class.
Fish fabrication is an essential part of the students’ curriculum. The demo was mutually beneficial for the CHS students and MUW. Sixteen students participated in the chefs’ demonstration of taking whole fish and fabricating (preparing) retail cuts. The chefs also taught students purchasing, receiving, and storing procedures for fresh fish.
Emily Long summed up the field trip when she said, “…we actually got to see the textbook come to life.We got real-life experiences and advice from a professional chef.”
“This demonstration shows that an educational path to Hinds Community College and the Mississippi University for Women will be a more challenging, hands-on experience,” said Derek Herrera. “It was a simple, yet complex fish fabrication demonstration.”
The feeder program also provides many opportunities to students enrolled in the Culinary Arts Technology class. Hinds and MUW are qualified institutions for the Mississippi Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Students are eligible to receive certifications and scholarships upon their completion of the ProStart program. By bringing industry and the classroom together, ProStart provides teachers and students access to relevant, real-world educational opportunities.
The CHS Career Complex is one of 46 schools in Mississippi that teach ProStart. ProStart unites the industry and the classroom to create a unique and unparalleled experience for students. CHS Career Complex Culinary Arts Technology is part of the NRAEF’s ProStart program, which reaches 90,000 students nationwide.
Schools across the state will be celebrating Farm to School Week from Oct. 6-10. During this week, many schools will incorporate locally grown fruits and vegetables produced by Mississippi farmers into lunchroom menus.
The Clinton Public School District will serve students a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables including fresh red apples, oranges, and cucumbers. Announcements each morning will tell the students which fresh fruits and vegetables will be served that day.
In 2012, the Mississippi Legislature designated the first full week of October as Mississippi Farm to School Week to encourage the serving of locally grown and locally-raised agricultural products in school meals and to recognize the substantial economic and health benefits of Farm to School programs. Farm to School Week draws attention to the vast number of crops that are grown in the state as well as serves as an educational tool to teach children how food gets from the farm to their plate.
At CPSD, nutrition education will be provided in the classroom to teach students where fruits and vegetables come from and why we should eat more of them. Also, informative posters about Farm to School Week will be placed in cafeterias. The posters will have nutritional information about fruits and vegetables and examples of local farms that produce those fruits and vegetables.
Making the cafeteria an extension of the classroom is a great way to keep the students in a learning environment during meal times.
“Growing up around a garden, I always thought that fresh fruits and vegetables had the most flavor,” said Marquissia Mack, food service manager at Clinton Junior High School. “I believe students might gain more of an interest in fruits and vegetables if they knew where it was coming from.”
Fresh fruits and vegetables harvested in season can be very flavorful. Wendy Robinson, the food service manager at Northside and Eastside elementary schools, said, “Our students really enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Some students even ask for seconds.”
An increased number of Mississippi fruits and vegetables are being offered to students through school lunchrooms across the state. For the 2014-2015 school year, Mississippi schools have ordered 32,000 cases of produce grown in the state totaling more than $1 million through the Department of Defense Farm to School Program administered by the Mississippi Department of Education. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce assists the Mississippi Department of Education with locating farmers to provide product for this statewide purchasing program.
Nutrition education at school plays an important role by providing students with the appropriate learning environment to make healthy decisions.
“It is our goal to keep the students healthy and active in their studies,” said Regina Ducksworth, CPSD’s Child Nutrition director. “By providing students with information about how fresh fruits and vegetables get to the table, we hope to increase the amount they eat. Without proper nutrition, students may lack the ability to focus in class. With regular consumption of fruits and vegetables, students may function better inside and outside the classroom.”