CPSD’s child nutrition program is governed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Districts are required to charge students and adults an amount that covers the cost of producing meals. This requirement stems from the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 for schools participating in the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs.
“It is something that we never like to do, but it is necessary to keep our program in compliance,” said Regina Ducksworth, child nutrition director. “Our child nutrition program is self-operating. The revenue we use to operate comes from the funds we receive from paying students, adults, and federal reimbursements for eligible meals.”
As the cost of food, supplies and labor continues to rise, the cost increase has become necessary for the 2015-16 school year.
Effective this fall:
• Student lunches – increasing from $2.50 to $2.65 per meal
• Student breakfast – increasing from $1.75 to $1.90 per meal
• Adult/teacher lunch – increasing from $3.25 to $3.40 per meal
• Adult/teacher breakfast – increasing from $2 to $2.15 per meal
“For this price, students and teachers receive a complete and balanced meal,” Ducksworth said. “It’s still a good price, and it’s a hot, healthy meal. Each day, our students receive the necessary calories and nutrients needed for their growth and development. Parents know their children are getting a good meal each day.”
If there is a financial hardship, parents may apply at any time for free or reduced price meals. There are applications available at each school and also on the child nutrition department Web site.
your income drops, you may be eligible,” she said.
For a free/reduced meal application or to make a meal payment online, visit www.clintonpublicschools.com and mouse over School Meals. For more information, contact the child nutrition department at (601) 924-4002.
Through the 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative, every student in every grade has a new computer for day-to-day use. Students in grades K-2 use iPad minis, students in grades 3-4 use full-size iPads and students in grades 5-12 use MacBook Air laptops (and large padded backpacks in grades 6-12).
Teachers use new MacBook Pro laptops.
“We learned a lot the first year we went one-to-one with technology, and we are pleased with the many ways that technology is being integrated in day-to-day learning,” said Kim Griffin, technology director. “Over the summer we are updating all the student devices and planning for the 2015-16 school year.”
During the 2014-15 school year, fifth-graders were issued
MacBook Air laptops instead of iPads; CPSD began teaching students how to type
beginning in second grade; and assignments were given and received online,
cutting down on paper costs.
Online learning system
Grades 5-12 use a program called Canvas to help students stay more organized and to cut down on paper assignments, Griffin said.
The Canvas learning management system allows teachers to post assignments online, students to log in and complete the work online, and submit the completed work to the teacher’s inbox.
“Canvas is similar to programs like Moodle and Blackboard
that colleges and universities use, so it’s also preparing Clinton students for
college,” she said.
Checking grades online
Like in years past, parents will be able to check their children’s grades online using PowerSchool. The grade portal is linked on www.clintonpublicschools.com under the “Grades” link on the home page.
“Login information from last year hasn’t changed, and
parents who need to set up an account should contact their child’s school,”
Griffin said. “The online grade portal is open most of the time during the
school year, but closed during and after exam weeks while teachers enter and
update 9-weeks grades.”
Meet Your Mac
Students new to the district and students entering sixth grade must attend a Meet Your Mac orientation session with a parent or guardian before they will be issued a laptop they can take home.
Meet your Mac sessions will be held for all incoming sixth-graders on Monday, Aug. 17 at Clinton High School. Meet Your Mac sessions will be held for students new to the district on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at Clinton High School.
Times for these sessions will be announced later in the
On registration day, students and parents should go to their school, and students in grades 6-12 must bring their backpack and charger with them to receive their computer. If they do not have a charger, they will need to purchase one.
Combined fees for school materials and technology are $50. Consent forms will be completed online through InfoSnap, as part of the online registration process.
“Families that attended Meet Your Mac presentations last year will not be required to attend the presentation again this year, but students who are new to the district must attend a session with at least one parent or guardian,” Griffin said.
Classes at Clinton High School are being tailored with
students’ college and career interests in mind.
Through the Career Academy model, CHS is taking a college and career readiness approach to secondary education, said Principal Anthony Goins.
“Our vision is to produce CHS graduates who are not only college eligible but possess the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary to be successful in their college and career choices,” he said.
Career Academies begin in ninth grade where Sumner Hill students take a Freshman Seminar course. This half-credit class exposes students to the 16 national career clusters, aspects of professionalism, interest surveys, goal setting and more.
“Students receive a snapshot view of what is offered at the academies,” said Sumner Hill Principal John Wallace. “We also have a number of guest speakers who represent many of the fields of study and employment represented in the academies. The speakers give students firsthand accounts of their experiences and answer any preliminary questions they have.”
Students also learn how to correctly complete a resume and application, how to prepare and give a presentation, how to interview and complete group projects, plan a budget and other things.
“Students compile a work portfolio from various activities during the course, which is presented the final week,” Wallace said. “Freshman Seminar is an extremely well rounded course that offers students a glimpse of what to expect in the next few years and early adulthood.”
Before entering 10th grade, students declare one of three academy tracks offered at CHS — Academy of Health and Human Services; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); and the Academy of Arts and Business. This fall, there will be two cohorts of academy students at CHS, the sophomore and junior classes.
“Once students reach Clinton High School, their courses and electives are tailored in a way to expose them to many aspects associated with each academy and the various career paths,” Goins said.
Each pathway has programs of study to guide students on their course selections, and classes incorporate the academy theme and provide students with real-world learning opportunities and problem solving. Speakers also visit classes, and students go on industry specific field trips.
“We are expanding the walls of CHS and creating a learning environment that is focused on student interest and relevant learning experiences,” Goins said.
Instrumental to the Career Academy model is the CHS Career Complex. He said 423 students are enrolled in career and technical courses in the 2015-16 school year.
“This proves that our students see the importance in getting exposure to career-based classes and they can see how their academic classes connect to their interest and the world of work,” said CHS Career Complex Principal Brett Robinson.
The Career Academy model has allowed CHS to form meaningful partnerships with local community and industry leaders, Goins said. Among them are the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Boeing Corp., Nissan, Neel-Schaffer Engineering, Mississippi College, and Hinds Community College.
CHS is actively working with these and other partners to create mentoring programs between experts in the field and CHS students. CHS is also working to set up internships and job shadowing opportunities for seniors in the 2016-17 school year.
“This is the way children learn now,” said Eastside Principal Cindy Hamil. “We are moving forward with technology to keep them interested and engaged.”
Kimberly Lane, trainer with code.org, held a workshop on June 10 for 25 teachers, covering critical thinking topics, teaching strategies, games and activities, and planning strategies. Teachers got hands-on experience with the curriculum and learned how it can be incorporated into other instruction.
“We learned a lot of collaborative activities for students to work on together to understand new concepts,” said Jesse Emling, who will join Eastside’s faculty this fall to teach computer science.
Today’s job market is moving more and more toward technology, he said, and teaching children how to code will prepare them for the careers of tomorrow.
“By teaching this at a young age, they can carry it with them and figure out what they like over a long period of time,” he said. “That’s better than waiting until they are seniors in high school and learning it in one year, and then having to decide on a college or career.”
Emling said the code.org curriculum is game-based, so it’s tied to the things students are already interested in.
“This will appeal to them because it looks like the games they play,” said teacher Schnita Gladney. “But they can put their own spin on things. They will learn how to make the characters do what they want them to do.”
In the future, she said, students can use the same skills to build apps, design Web sites, and create other digital media.
“The new accountability standards are moving us in the direction of deep thinking and critical thinking,” Hamil said. “Coding does that. It engages students in a very hands-on lesson and makes them think at a deeper level.”
For more information, visit www.code.org.
“Our routes start running around 6 a.m. and continue until about 8:15,” said Clinton Public School District Transportation Director Terry Harris. “There are also shuttles during the day taking students to classes on other campuses.”
With school starting in just a few weeks, the Clinton Public School District is encouraging drivers to slow down and take extreme caution when approaching and driving through school zones, and to drive with caution throughout the school day.
“Also be aware of children playing or walking near bus stops,” Harris said. “Slow down when you see the yellow flashing lights on a school bus and be prepared to stop when they change to red. Never pass a bus with its red light flashing. It is illegal to do this and it puts children in danger.”
“We are transporting children on these buses,” said Dr. Phil Burchfield, superintendent of schools. “If you are driving and see a school bus, keep that in mind before you text and drive or if you’re thinking about passing a stopped bus that has its lights flashing.”
inclement weather all motorists should slow down. The opening minutes of rain
or drizzle are the most dangerous.
“That’s when the water loosens all the accumulated dirt and oil,” Harris said. “This immediately forms a mixture which quickly coats the road with a dangerous slick film. High speeds on roadways where there is water present can cause a vehicle to hydroplane out of control.”
Rules for students:
• Arrive at the bus stop five minutes before the bus arrives.
• Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to board.
• Take your seat as soon as possible and remain seated, facing forward.
• Keep all your belongings on your lap and out of the aisle.
• Follow the driver’s instructions at all times.
• Talk quietly with your neighbors and avoid making noises that would distract the driver or bother others on the bus.
• To exit the bus, wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before standing up.
• If you must cross the street after you get off the bus, walk 10 giant steps ahead of the bus, wait for the driver’s signal to cross and then look both ways before you cross.
• Stay out of the danger zone (10 feet around all sides of the bus).
• Never run back to the bus, stoop down or crawl near the bus, even if you drop or forget something.
Congratulations to Northside students who earned Principal's Awards this year! These awards were created to recognize students who have consistently worked hard every day, all year long. From Principal Joy Tyner:
CHS Career Complex Principal Brett Robinson said there are already 50 students enrolled.
“It will begin with Introduction to Engineering Design in the first semester and Principles of Engineering in the second semester,” he said.
The school received a $45,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Education to implement the Project Lead the Way curriculum.
“Project Lead the Way has a proven track record of introducing students to the field of engineering and preparing them for the rigors of post-secondary study,” he said.
Designed for students, PLTW engineering is about applying engineering, science, math, and technology to solve complex, open-ended problems in a real-world context. Students investigate numerous topics, giving them an opportunity to learn about various engineering disciplines before beginning college or careers.
The courses are part of a larger project to implement career academies designed to make high school more rigorous and relevant to students. The career academies begin with a freshman seminar for ninth-graders at Sumner Hill Junior High.
Before tenth grade, students can choose an academy track to enter, including the Academy of Health and Human Services, the Academy of Arts and Business, and the Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — or STEM.
offered in each track are modified to the characteristics of the academy. Even
core coursework — subjects like English, history and biology — are adjusted for
the specific academies to relate to students’ interests.
When initial results were released, 98 percent of CPSD’s third graders passed the new state-mandated test. After the second testing opportunity on May 20, the percentage increased to 99 percent.
Students who did not pass will have one more opportunity to retest.
“Much of that is due to specific plans that we put in place to increase reading comprehension skills,” said Northside Elementary School Principal Joy Tyner.
Northside is CPSD’s second- and third-grade school, and for years has placed a heavy emphasis on reading. During the 2014-15 school year, Northside students read 168,374 books and passed Accelerated Reader tests on those books.
“That averages to a little more than 200 books per student,” Tyner said.
In the Accelerated Reader, or AR, system, students are awarded points for each AR test they pass. The school recognized the following students on Awards Day:
• Grayson Fortenberry – 404.2 AR points
• Kendall Salassi – 365.4 points
• Wellsley Wilkinson – 357 points
• Khanh Le – 344 points
• Celeste Martinez – 332.6 points
• Declan Morrissey – 462.8 points
• Mina Jiang – 364.3 points
• Brady Torrence – 354.3 points
• Sophia Pamudji – 338.2 points
• Madalyn Weisenberger – 332.7 points
Through the Teacher Incentive Package, businesses are asked to offer across-the-board discounts or one-time offers for Clinton educators. The coupons will be assembled into packets and distributed to teachers when they return in August.
“This is an easy way for businesses to show their support for public education and grow their customer base at the same time,” said Sandi Beason, public information officer and TIP coordinator.
There is no fee to participate; the only expense to businesses is the cost of printing coupons or fliers.
“Last year our teachers received coupons for free food from restaurants, discounts on merchandise at retail stores and special rates on things like gym memberships,” she said. “Teachers really appreciated the support from local businesses. We got great feedback from our educators as well as the contributing businesses.”
To participate, businesses need to submit 450 coupons or fliers to go in the teacher incentive bags detailing the special offer or discount. The deadline to submit coupons or fliers is Friday, July 31.
“We’ve had businesses send in things like notepads, pens and product samples, small items that had logos on them,” she said. “We accept those as well, but the minimum we ask is that businesses send printed coupons or fliers.”
All participating businesses will receive a sign suitable for framing stating that they support Clinton teachers.
There is one National Merit finalist and four National Achievement scholars in this year’s graduating class. The STAR Student, Javarcia Ivory, earned a 34 on the ACT and is one of only eight Mississippians ever to earn a prestigious Ron Brown scholarship.
Our graduating seniors have earned honors in a wide array of academic, athletic and arts competitions. It's amazing to me to look over this list and see how well our students have represented us this year and throughout their high school careers.
More than 312 seniors will graduate at 7:30 p.m. Friday at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus. Valedictorian and salutatorian will be announced during the ceremony.
More information about the CHS class of 2015:
• 115 seniors have accepted scholarships to 21 different colleges and universities throughout the U.S.
• The total scholarship money accepted by the Class of 2014 is $3,739,840.
• 68 students — 22 percent of the senior class — are members of the National Honor Society.
• 60 students earned a President’s Award for Educational Excellence for holding a 90 or above average for four years and a 24 or higher ACT score.
• 49 students scored Advanced on all four Subject Area Tests.
• 3 students scored in the top 20 percent at the state Math
& Science Competition hosted by Mississippi College.
Congratulations to all these students on a job well done, and Go Arrows!