Arrow Tracks

  • Enrollment update

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/25/2014

    Enrollment in Clinton's public schools has increased each year for the past several school years, and we expect that trend to continue.

    We’re proud to be an A-rated school district and the highest achieving school district by far in the Jackson metro area. We’re planning some innovative changes with technology this fall as we continue to build on our successes.

    During the 2013-14 school year, the Clinton Public School District enrolled 4,887 students in grades pre-K through 12. The number increased 175 students from the prior year, when there were 4,712 students enrolled. Just four years ago, CPSD enrolled 4,569 students.

    Historically, the highest years of enrollment were in the late 1990s, when more than 5,200 students attended CPSD.

    There were several years where our enrollment numbers declined, but that trend has reversed and we have seen significant gains in recent years.

    To accommodate the growth, CPSD this fall has hired an additional teacher for each grade level in grades K-6, as well as additional faculty in grades 7-12. There is also an additional teacher in the gifted program whose time will be split between Northside and Lovett elementary schools. 

    If enrollment continues to rise and funding is available, additional faculty may be needed next school year as well.


    Awards and honors

    Several factors are contributing to CPSD’s growth. Last year, all students were issued new Mac computers as part of the 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative, a program that will expand during the 2014-15 school year.

    Another factor is the numerous awards and honors CPSD has received in recent years, including Lovett Elementary School earning a National Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education for the high caliber of its academic programs.

    During the 2013-14 school year, CPSD earned an academic rating of A, the highest possible rating a Mississippi school district can attain. CPSD’s test scores are the second-highest out of 150 school districts in the state.


    Other recent recognitions include:

    • Sixth-graders in Clinton outscored their peers in every other school district in BOTH language arts and math, according to official test results from the Mississippi Department of Education.

    • CHS show choir Attaché was ranked the No. 1 show choir in America.

    • The band's indoor percussion group earned a gold medal (first place) at the WGI World Championship competition in April.

    • Freshman Demi Washington is Mississippi’s “Miss Track” and is the Gatorade Mississippi Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. She won two individual sprint state titles and helped the Lady Arrows 4x100 meter relay team set a new state record.

    • Lovett Principal Mike Pope is Mississippi’s second congressional district Administrator of the Year.

    • Members of the class of 2014 received more than $2.9 million in scholarships.

    • CPSD earned a Lighthouse School Leader award from the Mississippi School Boards Association for the strength of its academic programs.

    • CPSD earned third place in this year's All-Sports award.

    • The Ambassadors, CPSD's junior show choir, earned another national championship.

    We set a high standard in our schools, and our faculty, staff and students rise to meet or exceed that standard. As our enrollment continues to increase, we will continue to work at all levels to maintain that standard of excellence.
    Go Arrows!
    Comments (-1)
  • DOVE nomination - Stephanie Nervis and Theresa Thomas

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/23/2014
    * Over the summer, CPSD will recognize each employee who was nominated for a DOVE customer service award during the school year. Although these employees did not win a DOVE Award, their nomination shows that they have an impact on the children and families we serve.
    DOVE symbol
    Nervismug.jpg Eastside Elementary School teachers Theresa Thomas and Stephanie Nervis were nominated for a Dedication of Our Valued Employees — or DOVE — customer service award by Charita Bass, whose child attended Eastside during the 2013-14 school year. In her nomination for Mrs. Nervis, she wrote:
    "I don't know if you would call this customer service because I refer to it as the heart of a good person. My son Devin Bass was on Mrs. Nervis' team last year when he got ill and had to be hospitalized. At that same time he was playing football for Clinton Parks & Rec when the team played and won the championship of their age group. Devin was saddened that he couldn't be there for the game or the celebration ... Mrs. Nervis not only visited Devin in the hospital but she arrived with a collection of artwork from students wishing Devin a speedy recovery."
    In her nomination for Mrs. Thomas, she said Mrs. Thomas also had the "heart of a good person." She added:
    "Not only did Mrs. Thomas visit Devin in the hospital, she made a trip to pick up his trophy and deliver it to him. I have always been over the moon about CPSD but this still pulls on my heart strings."
    Mrs. Thomas is a graduate of Clinton High School and Mississippi College. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education, a master's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in school administration. She taught at Northside Elementary for nine years, took time off to raise children, and returned to CPSD to teach at Eastside.
    Mrs. Nervis is from Vicksburg and is a graduate of Warren Central High School. She holds a bachelor's degree from Alcorn State University, a master's degree from Delta State University and an educational specialist degree from Mississippi College. She has taught since 2000, including first, third and fourth grades.
    Congratulations to Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Nervis and thanks to Ms. Bass for nominating them for a DOVE Award! For more information or to nominate a CPSD employee who has demonstrated excellent customer service, CLICK HERE to fill out an online nomination form.
    Go Arrows!
    Comments (-1)
  • Common Core State Standards

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/21/2014

    For several years, the Clinton Public School District has implemented the Common Core State Standards in elementary and middle school grades.

    The standards are academic benchmarks of what students are expected to learn at each grade level. Local educators in Clinton choose the curriculum materials that are used for day-to-day instruction, including textbooks, homework assignments, projects, apps and other materials. 

    books “We’re raising the bar on what we expect of students,” said Assistant Superintendent Tim Martin. “Students will no longer be given information to memorize and recite back to teachers for a grade. They will be required to engage with complex informational texts and apply literacy skills across all disciplines.”

    In math, students will face challenging problems that connect mathematical understanding and procedural skill. They will be required to know how to explain their answer and the mathematical reasoning behind it.

    Martin said it will not be an easy transition, but CPSD encourages parents to become actively engaged in their children’s learning.

    “These new demands will raise the bar on what is expected from teachers as well,” he said. “Literacy will no longer fall solely under the purview of English and language arts teachers. We expect teachers of other courses to connect the Common Core standards with their content.”

    This means that student assignments must be content rich and literacy saturated.

    One common misconception of Common Core is that established literature is being stripped from English courses to make way for non-fiction texts. In fact, Common Core requires certain critical content for all students, including classic myths and stories from around the world, America’s founding documents, foundational American literature, and Shakespeare.

    It is also not true that English teachers are required to spend 70 percent of their time teaching informational texts and only 30 percent of their time on fictional or literature text.

    The 70 percent that is often misrepresented refers to the amount of total time students will spend on reading throughout the day in math, science, English, social studies and other content courses. English teachers are encouraged to use more short informational texts, such as primary sources that can be found online and in newspapers, to surround their reading of a novel, but not to switch their reading to primarily informational text. With Common Core, students will need to read literary texts in English in order to have the 30 percent of their day be fiction reading.

    In math, teachers must not only assess students’ ability to do a math procedure but also recognize their depth of understanding and respond with appropriate instruction.

    “In some instances, parents may not know how to help because the styles being taught are different from the way we learned as children,” Martin said. “But the best way to learn something new is to prepare to teach it to someone else. If parents and students will both commit to teaching one another — with guidance and support from teachers — I believe we will be successful in implementing the new standards.”

    Martin encouraged parents to communicate with teachers on a regular basis, and do not hesitate to ask their child’s teachers if they need assistance or don’t understand an assignment.

    Teacher contact information is available on To find your child’s teachers:

    -       Mouse over the “Schools” link

    -       Click on the school name

    -       Click “Classrooms” on the school home page

    -       Teachers are listed in alphabetical order by last name

    -       Click a teacher’s name. His/her email address is posted on either the “Home” or “Welcome” page.

    If you cannot find a teacher’s contact information, please email Webmaster Sandi Beason at or call your child’s school.

    "We have already seen success in our kindergarten through third-grade students who began to learn these standards several years ago," Martin said. "Now it is time for grades 4-12 to join them in raising their expectations."
    Comments (-1)
  • DOVE nomination - Nate Roberts

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/18/2014
    * Over the summer, CPSD will recognize each employee who was nominated for a DOVE customer service award during the school year. Although these employees did not win a DOVE Award, their nomination shows that they have an impact on the children and families we serve.
    DOVE symbol
    NateRoberts The Clinton Public School District's Central Office custodian, Nate Roberts, received a Dedication of Our Valued Employees — or DOVE — customer service award nomination from administrative assistant Pam Meadows. Mrs. Meadows wrote:
    "Mr. Nate keeps Central Office very clean. I see him most mornings going around the outside of our building picking up trash. He helps us with the door as we arrive in the mornings. That means a lot when you have your hands full! He is willing to help with anything he is asked to do. His care of our building helps present a clean environment to visitors and staff who come to Central Office."
    Congratulations to Mr. Nate and thanks to Mrs. Meadows for nominating him! 
    For more information or to nominate a CPSD employee who demonstrates excellent customer service, CLICK HERE to fill out an online nomination form
    Go Arrows!
    Comments (-1)
  • DOVE nomination - Carolyn Lynchard and Kayla Fowler

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/16/2014
    * Over the summer, CPSD will recognize each employee who was nominated for a DOVE customer service award during the school year. Although these employees did not win a DOVE Award, their nomination shows that they have an impact on the children and families we serve.
    DOVE symbol
    Northside Elementary School teachers Carolyn Lynchard and Kayla Fowler were nominated for a Dedication of Our Valued Employees — or DOVE customer service award by Jamie Hogue, whose child attended Northside during the 2013-14 school year. Ms. Hogue wrote:
    Lynchardsmall.jpg "I am nominating both Mrs. Fowler and Mrs. Lynchard for their kindness and helpfulness during a very stressful time in my daughter's life. My daughter, Kendall, missed several weeks of school due to brain surgery. They have both been most helpful with the make-up work process. They have made sure that work was sent home. After we would return the work to them, they would look over it and make notes so that Kendall could understand what she missed. This took a lot of their time. Also, as the doctors allowed, Mrs. Fowler and Mrs. Lynchard gave up several of their planning periods to sit with Kendall in the office while she made up tests and quizzes. 

    "Mrs. Fowler and Mrs. Lynchard have checked on her health daily. They have come to visit her. They have brought dinner to the house, spaghetti at her request! (Kendall did not have much of an appetite for a few days after surgery, and she wanted spaghetti!)

    "Before the surgery when we did not know what was wrong with Kendall, she constantly complained of headaches. She told her teachers that she had a headache daily. I was worried that Kendall's teacher would find her to be "high maintenance," but they didn't. They would love on her and send me an email to let me know how she was feeling. Mrs. Fowler and Mrs. Lynchard were instrumental in helping me and the doctors diagnose her hydrocephalus. I always called them, sent emails, letters asking questions. Never did they make me feel like a nuisance. (All of this plus a newborn, I felt crazy at times!)

    Fowlermug.jpg "I will forever be grateful for Mrs. Lynchard and Mrs. Fowler! They have been so good to my sweet, little Kendall and my whole family!"

    The nomination form also asks how this impacted their overall perception of CPSD; Ms. Hogue wrote:

    "This is only our second year in the Clinton Public School District. ... My family considered moving to Madison (as we were living in an apartment with all belongings in storage). We decided to give it another year! I am so glad that we did! Mrs. Fowler and Mrs. Lynchard have let me know what Clinton is REALLY like! Had my daughter been diagnosed with hydrocephalus any other year, I am not sure how we would have survived! Mrs. Fowler and Mrs. Lynchard proved to my family that Clinton schools really do care of each individual child! We have been so blessed to have them as our teachers this year! We are also very blessed to be a part of such a wonderful school district!"
    Mrs. Lynchard is a third-grade language arts teacher at Northside. She has taught for 18 years, including fourth, seventh and eighth grades. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and a graduate of Belhaven College. Her two daughters, Anna and Paige, attend Mississippi State University and both graduated from Clinton High School. 
    "We are all proud to be Arrows," she said. "I love my town Clinton and my school!"
    Mrs. Fowler has taught at Northside for four years. She and her husband Kevin live in Clinton with their daughter Mason. She holds a degree in elementary education from Mississippi College.
    "I believe in Clinton public schools, and went through the district, K-12," she said. "All I have ever wanted to be is a teacher and I tell my friends I am simply living the dream."
    Congratulations to Mrs. Lynchard and Mrs. Fowler, and thanks to Ms. Hogue for nominating them for this award! For more information or to nominate a CPSD employee who has demonstrated excellent customer service, CLICK HERE to fill out an online nomination form.
    Go Arrows! 
    Comments (-1)
  • School lunch - healthy and affordable

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/14/2014


    Reginamug As the price of everything increases, there is one meal that gives you a big bang for a small buck – school lunch. In Clinton’s public schools, school lunch is a great value both economically and nutritionally.

    Lunch time is a great part of the school day. It’s a time where students get a short break from classwork and enjoy socializing with friends. It is also a time to refuel for the rest of the day, and school lunch is the fuel needed to “rev up” young minds and bodies.

    Studies have shown that children who eat a well-balanced lunch often do better in school and are more alert. More specifically, when children eat school lunch they are more likely to have higher nutrient intakes over the course of an entire day.

    Regina Ducksworth, director of Child Nutrition at CPSD, stated, “Our school lunch program aligns with federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans, providing students a balanced, healthy option that boosts energy levels in the classroom, but also sets the stage for lifelong eating habits.”

    Every school lunch includes five meal components:

    • Milk – Skim, 1 percent, or fat-free flavored (strawberry, chocolate or vanilla)
    • Fruits* – Fresh, frozen or canned varieties and 100 percent juice
    • Vegetables* – Fresh, frozen or canned varieties
    • Grains – Assorted whole grain foods like breads, rice, pasta, pizza crust, tortillas and cereals
    • Meat and meat alternatives – High-quality protein sources like chicken, beef, turkey ham, beans, low-fat cheese and yogurt

    (* Students may choose all five components, but must select at least three choices with one being a fruit or a vegetable)

    Grab-N-Go option

    Grab-and-go lunches are also available to all CPSD students. It’s a perfect solution that saves time from having to pack a lunch each morning. It’s ideal for older students who need a little extra time during their lunch period to study or work on an assignment.

    Grab-and-go lunch is a well-balanced, pre-packaged meal containing foods from the five food groups or meal components. Not only is it a convenient option, but the bonus is grab-and-go lunch tastes great and it meets a third of children’s daily nutritional needs. For the same price as the regular school lunch, a student can bypass waiting in the lunch line, go straight to the grab-and-go section, select their meal, and sit down to enjoy it with their friends all in a minute or less.

    The grab-and-go entrees include the following:

    • Sandwich or wrap combo with whole grain chips (on select days)  ~and/or~
    • Salad of-the-day choice which includes chef, grilled chicken, Southwestern, tuna, or fruit and yogurt salad

    Cost-effective alternative

    Compared to lunch brought from home, school lunch costs less. At CPSD, school lunch is just $2.50 versus an estimated average of $3.43 for a bagged lunch from home. Research shows that students who eat school lunches consume fewer calories from fat than students who bring lunch from home. Also, students who eat school lunch have substantially lower intakes of added sugars than students who do not eat school lunch.

    Prepay online for meals

    CPSD parents can take advantage of the option to prepay their child’s meal account online through Online payments are a simple, safe and secure way to make payments to your student’s account for the day, week, month or year at any time that is convenient for you. Prepaid meal accounts give parents peace of mind about not having to worry with gathering lunch money every day or worrying that it will get lost, stolen or spent on something else.

    Free and Reduced-Price Meals

    Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, students may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. All families who believe they are eligible should apply. This includes households whose circumstances have changed (i.e. loss of job, decrease in salary, increase in people living in household, etc.). A new application has to be completed each school year; even for families who were eligible the previous year. Only one application has to be completed per household. Applications are sent home with each student at the beginning of the school year, and are also available at the CPSD Child Nutrition Department. For your convenience, an application can be completed online on under the Child Nutrition page.

    Comments (-1)
  • DOVE nomination - Venikea Thompson

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/11/2014
    * Over the summer, CPSD will recognize each employee who was nominated for a DOVE customer service award during the school year. Although these employees did not win a DOVE Award, their nomination shows that they have an impact on the children and families we serve.
    DOVE symbol
    Venikea Clinton Park Elementary School cafeteria worker Venikea Thompson was nominated for a Dedication of Our Valued Employees — or DOVE — customer service award by Child Nutrition Supervisor Keba Laird. Mrs. Laird wrote:
    "Every day Ms. Thompson is warm, energetic, loving, and caring to her No. 1 customers - the Clinton Park students. She knows the majority of the students by name and she speaks to them with such admiration. Ms.Thompson's non-preferential interactions with the students (regardless of who they are) makes each child feel they are uniquely special. There is not one day that goes by that Ms. Thompson does not extend her arms to embrace a child. Not only that, but she ensures each student who eats school lunch has a complete meal - if the student forgets to grab a fruit or vegetable, Ms. Thompson courteously directs them to return to the trayline to make that selection. Ms. Thompson understands the connection between nutrition and learning, and she encourages the students to make healthy choices."
    The form also asks how this impacts your overall perception of CPSD, and Mrs. Laird wrote:
    "Ms. Thompson's customer service is exceptional and her reputation proceeds her. The school staff, administrators, and parents will likely agree that she exudes impeccable customer service. When parents visit their children for lunch, I'm sure they have a confidence that their children are secure and cared for - a peace of mind that all parents can appreciate."
    Congratulations to Ms. Thompson and thanks to Mrs. Laird for nominating her for this award! For more information or to nominate a CPSD employee who demonstrates excellent customer service, CLICK HERE to fill out an online nomination form
    Go Arrows!
    Comments (-1)
  • Dual enrollment

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/10/2014


    Clinton High School students can get a jump on their college years by enrolling in dual credit courses at CHS.

    “Through partnerships with Mississippi College and Hinds Community College, we are offering several options for students to earn college credit while they’re still in high school,” said Clinton Public School District Assistant Superintendent Tim Martin.

    Through the partnership with Hinds, CHS students can earn three hours per course in College Algebra, Western Civilization and English Composition I and II. Through the partnership with MC, CHS students can earn three hours in Calculus.

    “This option will be available to seniors this year, and will be open to juniors and seniors the year after that,” Martin said.

    And through the CHS Career Complex, students can earn college credit as well as national certifications in Information Technology and Construction/Carpentry.

    “These courses are open to sophomores, juniors and seniors,” Martin said.

    The dual enrollment option is part of the career academy transition at CHS. Through career academies, students will have more real-world information on how their high school coursework relates to college and careers.

    The partnerships with Hinds and MC will benefit students in the long term, said Brett Robinson, Career Complex director.

    "Our students today are the workforce of tomorrow," Robinson said. "We have extremely bright and ambitious students at CHS and we want to see them excel in life. We would love to see them come back to Clinton to do so. That is why these partnerships are so important. They allow us the opportunity to create connections between colleges and universities and our students so we can retain the leaders of tomorrow from the students who are walking the halls of Clinton High School today."
    Comments (-1)
  • DOVE nomination - Kevin Welborn

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/9/2014
    * Over the summer, CPSD will recognize each employee who was nominated for a DOVE customer service award during the school year. Although these employees did not win a DOVE Award, their nomination shows that they have an impact on the children and families we serve.
    DOVE symbol
    Clinton High School Assistant Band Director Kevin Welborn was nominated for a Dedication of Our Valued Employees — or DOVE — award by Kathy Staten, whose child attended CHS during the 2013-14 school year. Ms. Staten wrote:
    Welborn "Kevin goes beyond what is required of him. He works endless hours for our Indoor Percussion kids and the percussion unit as a whole. He is always willing to help and answer endless questions.
    The form asks how this impacted your overall perception of CPSD, and Ms. Staten wrote:
    "Due to Kevin’s hard work with the band and Indoor Percussion group, Clinton High School and the percussion groups are well known in many states. We have judges at our competitions and spectators that are at the competition just to see Clinton perform. This is due to Kevin’s endless efforts he puts into the kids. He truly cares about our kids and makes sure that Clinton is represented well in production, attitude and pride. We are very blessed to have Kevin Welborn as our percussion director. I am sure he could go almost anywhere he chooses. He is very proud of our Clinton kids and it shows in all he does for them and their parents!"
    Mr. Welborn holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, both in music education, from The University of Southern Mississippi. Growing up in Mississippi, he has taught, adjudicated and given clinics to many high school and college bands throughout the Southeast. He was a member of the 1999 Carolina Crown and the 2001 Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, playing snare drum for both organizations.

    During the summers of 2004 and 2005, Kevin was a percussion consultant for the Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps from Memphis. Kevin now serves as percussion caption supervisor for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming. He has been on staff with the Troopers since the 2007 season and has been the percussion caption head since the 2009 season. The Troopers made history with a DCI World Finals appearance in 2009, after a 23-year absence.

    Kevin now lives in Clinton, where he is the full time director of percussion and an assistant band director for the Clinton Public School District.

    Congratulations to Mr. Welborn and thank you to Ms. Staten for nominating him for this award! For more information or to nominate a CPSD employee who has demonstrated excellent customer service, CLICK HERE to fill out an online nomination form.
    Go Arrows!
    Comments (-1)
  • School breakfast

    Posted by Keba Laird at 7/7/2014


    Perhaps you’ve heard it said time and time again, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” And that’s right … a well-balanced breakfast provides students with the nutrients and energy they need to excel in the classroom and beyond.

    The Clinton Public School District offers school breakfast to all students in grades K-6 to help them succeed. Please encourage your children to eat school breakfast daily to ensure they are well nourished and ready to learn.

    Research proves that students who eat school breakfast have better attention, memory and brain activity, which greatly improves their academic performance. According to the Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, on average, students who eat school breakfast have been shown to:

    • Achieve 17.5 percent higher math scores
    • Attend 1.5 more days of school per year

    This research concludes that these impacts have potential long-term economic benefits as well:

    • 20 percent of students attending class more regularly are more likely to graduate from high school
    • High school graduates on average earn $10,000 more annually and enjoy a 4 percent higher employment rate
    • Children who eat breakfast daily generally maintain it as a lifelong habit, which as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, can positively impact healthcare costs  

    Take Time for School Breakfast

    The majority of Americans realize the benefits of breakfast, but often families are rushed in the morning and this can make it difficult to sit down long enough to enjoy a nutritious meal. It’s estimated that 12 – 34 percent of children regularly skip breakfast. Regina Ducksworth, director of Child Nutrition for CPSD said, “School breakfast is the perfect solution for today’s families because it helps save time in the morning. Knowing that school breakfast is healthy and a great value is a huge relief for parents.”

    Effective in school year 2014-2015, the federal regulations for school breakfast specify that all grains must be whole grain and at least one cup of fruit has to be offered. The updated USDA breakfast standards build on the healthy changes that our Child Nutrition program has been making for years. In CPSD, we anticipated the new changes and gradually began to implement them ahead of time. We have trained our staff and revised our menus to offer breakfast options that are not only good for students but appeal to them as well.

    School breakfast is affordable for every budget. At $1.75, CPSD students are offered a balanced breakfast which includes whole grains, fruit, milk and meat or meat alternatives.

    Families living on tight budgets are encouraged to apply for free and reduced-price meals. Students who qualify for reduced-price breakfast pay only .30 cents. To obtain a free and reduced-price meal application, contact the Child Nutrition Department at (601) 924-4002, or complete an application online at on the Child Nutrition page.

    Breakfast will be served at CPSD beginning Monday, August 25. The service times per school are:

    • Clinton Park* 7:10 – 7:45 a.m.
    • Northside/ Eastside* 7:10 – 7:40 a.m.
    • Lovett 7:30 – 8 a.m.

    (*Car riders must be in the cafeteria no later than 7:30 a.m.)

    The CPSD Child Nutrition department is committed to providing safe and nutritious meals to all children. Our goal is to raise awareness of the School Breakfast program and to promote the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievement and healthy lifestyles.
    * Keba Laird is nutrition supervisor in the Clinton Public School District's child nutrition department. 
    Comments (-1)