Arrow Tracks

  • State Treasurer Lynn Fitch visits CHS

    Posted by staff reports at 8/20/2014

    State Treasurer Lynn Fitch visited Clinton High School this morning to kick off her TEAM financial literacy initiative, the Treasurer’s Education About Money.

    Treasurer Fitch spoke to students about the importance of learning personal finance skills as key to changing Mississippi’s financial culture. 

    “You are our workforce and leaders of tomorrow,” Fitch said. “If you learn how to manage your own money, you will be better able to manage the finances of the businesses you lead.”

    CHS Economics teacher Charlotte Walker said it was exciting to have the state treasurer visit the high school.

    “Treasurer Fitch is committed to helping Mississippi rise above our current economic situation by teaching students to understand financial concepts and manage their money,” Walker said. “Instead of living paycheck to paycheck because of poor choices, hopefully, our students will be part of a generation of Mississippians who plan, invest and enjoy the rewards of successful money management.”

    A side effect, Walker said, is that Mississippi as a whole will be in better financial condition when its residents manage money well.

    “We appreciate Treasurer Fitch for being forward thinking and encouraging this instruction,” Walker said.

    Fitch is traveling Mississippi this week to share the details of her TEAM initiative to make personal finance education resources available to every high school student across the state.

    TEAM is built on a public-private partnership that includes local communities, businesses, nonprofits, and educators all aimed at improving Mississippi’s financial literacy.

    “Mississippi has been named as among the least financially capable states in the country,” she said. “This is unacceptable. I want to change our financial culture, and TEAM is a significant step in that effort.”

    With funds raised from the private sector, Treasurer Fitch’s TEAM initiative will make available a computer-based program for students to learn the basics of managing their money. 

    Designed by EverFi, a company with a proven track record of implementing the financial literacy program in schools across the country, the TEAM program is available online so that students can easily complete the nine different modules in classrooms, computer labs or in their homes. Schools have flexibility to use the EverFi program in many different subject areas, and students are tested throughout the program to measure their progress.  

    The modules include lessons on credit scores, insurance, credit cards, taxes, investing, 401Ks, savings, mortgages and college savings.

    TEAM will also enlist the Mississippi Council for Economics Education, a Mississippi nonprofit that already successfully provides training for teachers in the areas of economics, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy and is led by former CHS teacher Selena Swartzfager. MCEE will expand its current teacher training in personal finance it already provides to include the EverFi program.

    “The EverFi program has already been piloted in 100 schools around the state,” said Treasurer Fitch. “Students who completed the lessons showed a 40 percent increase in financial literacy. With MCEE’s effectiveness in training teachers, we can really raise awareness that personal finance education is a life skill we all need.” 

    For information on TEAM, contact or call 888-308-1997.
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  • Meet the Arrows (fall sports)

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 8/18/2014
    Thanks to everyone who attended the Meet the Arrows event last week at CHS! This was a great opportunity to meet the players and coaches of all fall sports, plus hear previews from the band and cheerleaders. We're looking forward to a great season in Arrow Nation.

    Thanks for your support and Go Arrows!
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  • Mobile App update

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 8/14/2014
    SchoolWay logo Mobile users will notice a change in the Clinton Public School District’s app.
    The app provider recently changed its name from School Connect to SchoolWay, but the app’s basic functionality is the same.
    “If you downloaded the School Connect app, please update what’s currently on your phone,” said Sandi Beason, CPSD’s public information officer and Web master.
    The free app is available for Apple and Android mobile devices and helps keep parents connected to school information in a mobile format.
    CPSD also uses the app for notifications, including emergency alerts.
    “You can access basic school information, lunch menus, calendars and quick links to social media,” Beason said. “With the notification component, this app is an easy way for parents to stay informed about their children’s schools.”
    CPSD is using the app at no cost through the Jostens company.
    “SchoolWay is proud to be working with the Clinton Public School District to create a faster, more reliable messaging option for safe communications via mobile devices for the entire school community,” said Murad Velani, Jostens’ chief operating officer. “Mobile is quickly becoming the default communication mode for students, parents and school officials. Jostens created SchoolWay to allow schools to quickly communicate with their community, and community members to connect with their schools.”
    The Clinton Public School District’s SchoolWay app is now available to download and use for free for Apple and Android users.  View the app landing page at
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  • CanvasCon

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 8/13/2014

    In its second year as a one-to-one district, the Clinton Public School District is “growing technology” in several ways.

    To better train and engage faculty, the district on Thursday partnered with Hinds Community College and Instructure to hold CanvasCon, a day-long professional development day that covered the basics of Canvas. This learning management system allows teachers to post lesson plans and assignments online for students, and students can log in, complete the work and turn it in to teachers’ inboxes.


    “Canvas is used by thousands of students and teachers throughout the country,” said Dr. Kameron Ball, CPSD’s director of technology. “The Mississippi junior and community college system and several four-year institutions of higher learning have adopted Canvas as their delivery method for online, digital e-learning courses.”

    In Clinton, she said, Canvas was selected as a supplement to the 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative, in which every student is provided a Mac computer or tablet.

    “Every student in grades 5-12 has a MacBook Air laptop and all of our faculty also have laptops to use for instruction and assessment,” she said.


    At CanvasCon, teachers learned how to use Canvas to create and manage grade books, create and add students to classes, how to communicate with students, create calendars with dates that assignments are due, and how to add multimedia elements such as videos and podcasts.

    Eighth-grade science teacher Linda White said the conference helped her see how Canvas could be used for day-to-day instruction.

    “This is doable,” she said. “Even for veteran educators like me, I can see how I can use this in my class.”

    Among her plans are to create virtual science labs and embed multimedia elements that she would otherwise hand-draw.

    “This (CanvasCon) has been thrilling,” she said. “I can put these things in Canvas and I feel comfortable using it. I love the ability to create audio and video that kids can review later when they’re studying.”

    Since all her students have laptops, she added, they can download information at school in case they don’t have access to Wi-Fi at home.


    “There were some good questions from teachers in the assessment session,” said CJHS Assistant Principal Brian Fortenberry. “With the Respondus browser, teachers can make their tests ‘cheat-proof’ because students can’t search Google for answers, take screen shots or message other students while they’re taking the test. That took away teachers’ fears and made them more receptive to the technology.”

    Teachers also like that Canvas will allow them to receive immediate feedback on whether students ‘get’ the lesson or if more review is needed, he said.

    Through Canvas, teachers and students are assigned to the courses on their daily school schedule. Each completed assignment is time-stamped when students submit it to their teachers, so teachers can tell if students turn in work on time.

    Teachers can upload class presentation notes, study guides, handouts, videos and links to other resources that students may need for completing their work and studying for tests.

    “Canvas helps students stay better organized an informed, and it cuts down on paper,” Ball said. “All student work in Canvas is archived in folders for their use at any time. Course assignments and tests are posted to an online calendar so students can improve their time management skills.”

    CPSD secondary schools began piloting Canvas in January 2014. After ongoing training this past spring — and attending CanvasCon — CPSD teachers will move forward and fully implement Canvas this fall.

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  • Arrow Dash 5K

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 8/11/2014
    dashcode Northside Elementary is gearing up for the annual Arrow Dash 5k Run/Walk and one-mile color run.
    “We are excited about the fourth year for this race,” said Beth Shepherd, race chairperson. “Not only does it help fund our PTO, it promotes the healthy lifestyle we encourage in our school system and it enables our students and families to engage in a healthy family activity together.”
    The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 20 on Arrow Drive in front of Northside Elementary School. Registration begins at 7 a.m., the 5K Run/Walk begins at 8 a.m. and the one-mile color run begins at 9 a.m.
    The cost for the 5K is $20 if pre-registered by Sept. 17, or $25 on race day. The registration fee for the fun run is $10.
    Families may pre-register for $60 for up to five people, or $70 the day of the race. All members must fill out the registration form together.
    “You can also be a ghost runner for $20, which includes a T-shirt,” Shepherd said. “The T-shirt must be picked up at the race but you do not have to race.”
    Awards will be given to the overall male and female winners in Open, Master's and Grand Master's divisions. First, second and third place will be awarded to specific age groups in these categories: Male & Female 5K Run, Male & Female 5K Walk and one-mile color run.
    Sisu Race Timing will direct the race. Register at Clinton Back to School Nights or at Active.Com. T-shirts are guaranteed for participants registered by Sept. 3.
    To sponsor, donate goody bag items or for more information, e-mail
    Go Arrows!
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  • DOVE nomination - Sharon Tompkins

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 8/6/2014
    * 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
    Tompkins The Clinton Public School District's student database Manager Sharon Tompkins was nominated for a Dedication of Our Valued Employees — or DOVE — customer service award by her boss and Technology Director Dr. Kameron Ball. Dr. Ball wrote:
    "Sharon exemplifies what it means to be a Clinton Arrow in every sense. She continually seeks to go above and beyond to provide all of our customers the best possible service. This year, as we have embarked upon the new 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative, her service to others has been nothing short of remarkable. No one really knows the hours of time that she has given to this work. Customers, from the Technology Department, refers to everyone that we serve - teachers, administrators, parents, students, district office staff and community members. Sharon has met every single need as soon as she becomes aware of it ... whether it was working at Meet Your Mac or providing new laptops/backpacks to the office staff as soon as they call her to say "we have a new student" to unloading and unloading boxes and boxes of bags, cases, computers and cables in and out of her Honda Pilot.
    "When we unveiled the new student online registration, Sharon took the lead on learning the system and sharing with others how things would work. She worked at Clinton Park with parents on Kindergarten registration and then at the old Eastside helping newly enrolled students get registered properly. She is quick to tackle any assignment or request, and she does so with a smile and a genuinely pleasant spirit. She has provided training to new employees on all of our systems, MSIS, PowerSchool, InfoSnap. On top of all of this, she is happy to serve any way that Dr. Burchfield or Mr. Martin request with new student data imports or records requests. What most people don't realize is that she also takes time to bake cookies and cakes for our building, stay actively involved in our Clinton community and is a leader for Mississippi Blood Services -- all while being a wonderful example of what Clinton is all about."
    The nomination form also asks how this impacted your overall perception of CPSD, and Dr. Ball wrote:
    "Sharon Tompkins is a stellar example of what the Clinton Public School District is and should always be. Her work ethic and customer service are evident in her every action."
    Congratulations to Mrs. Tompkins and thanks to Dr. Ball for nominating her! For more information or to nominate a CPSD employee who demonstrates outstanding customer service, CLICK HERE to fill out an online nomination form
    Go Arrows!
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  • DOVE nomination - Paula Skelton

    Posted by Dr. Phil Burchfield at 7/30/2014
    * 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 attendance officer Paula Skelton received multiple nominations for a Dedication of Our Valued Employees — or DOVE — customer service award. She was nominated by the following people whose children attended CHS during the 2013-14 school year:
    - Teresa Mosley
    - Penny Holmes
    - Connie Coleman
    - Mary Jane Emling Hyer
    Mrs. Mosley wrote:
    "Coming to CHS after being at Sumner Hill with just 9th graders is very intimidating. From the first time I entered the attendance office at CHS, Mrs. Skelton made me feel welcome. She exemplifies the meaning of being a true Arrow! Much of her day is spent dealing with parents on the phone or coming into the school to sign out their child. Since my daughter has been at CHS these past two years, I have had multiple occasions to deal with Mrs. Skelton whether by phone to report an absence or to sign out my daughter. 
    "With NO exception, I have been met with a kind voice, a smile and professionalism. Mrs. Skelton represents CHS in a manner that reflects a true love and respect for our students and their parents. I respect her ability to maintain 'grace under pressure.' It must be very hard to maintain a smile and sweet disposition when you have 20 parents in line and the phone is ringing off the hook! Somehow, Mrs. Skelton does it effortlessly!"
    Mrs. Holmes wrote:
    "We have the most outstanding district in the state and she reflects this in all she does. Paula works in what appears to be the busiest office at CHS...always a room full of students needing help, to use the phone, etc...and always a line of parents needing help with check outs, check ins, etc. All the while...the phone is ringing off the hook!! In spite of continuously being pulled in different directions all day long, she has never greeted any of us with anything but a big smile and pleasant tone. Such a joy to walk in and see her. Love her attitude towards the students and parents. She's a treasure!!"
    Mrs. Coleman wrote:
    "Mrs. Skelton is professional & friendly in every way, EVERY DAY!! I see her several times each week and she has never once been anything but superior in her work. There is often a line of people in that office and she handles numerous tasks, requests and personalities quickly, efficiently and ALWAYS with a pleasant demeanor and smile! The students love her as well and it shows! Even when she has to enforce rules (which all people resist) she is always so pleasant people don't even realize she has had to deny their request. She is truly worthy of recognition. Handling high school attendance issues I am sure is not a pleasant job at times but she is truly professional. I have never seen her be anything but respectful to everyone, students and parents alike."
    The form also asks how this impacted your overall impression of CPSD, and Mrs. Coleman wrote:
    "Having lived in Clinton only a few years and having children of various ages, I have dealt with public and private schools in four different states. In no other place have I seen someone so truly dedicated (in 2 years I think only once has she not been in her office when I came in) and professional in that position. She gives an impression that Clinton is a great place to be and that if there is ever a problem she, or someone else in the district, will help you find a solution/answer. Parents and children need that in today's increasingly impersonal world. Hands on, smiles and concern. You can't beat that!
    "She makes going to the school a joy, instead of something to dread, as I have definitely experienced elsewhere. She is always aware of what is happening (sports, book fairs, fund raisers, etc.) in the district and always gives a great impression that CHS knows where and what students are involved in, and she seems to personally know all the students! Even more rare! She has done a lot to make me, as a parent, feel confident that this is a great school district for my children to attend."
    Ms. Hyer wrote:
    "From 2005-2007 and from 2011-2014, while my daughters attended CHS, I have always found her friendly, courteous and highly professional. She manages that incredibly busy office with class and efficiency. She is always impeccably dressed and smiling! I have admired her for many years! She is a true asset to our school system!"
    Mrs. Skelton was also nominated by CHS teacher Charlotte Walker. She wrote:
    "Mrs. Skelton assists students checking in and out of school, and sometimes it gets really crowded. In spite of the stress that goes with a very crowded office, Mrs. Skelton smiles and treats each student as if they were here own child. She makes the task of checking in and out a pleasant thing. She is warm and compassionate and treats everyone like they are important."
    Congratulations to Mrs. Skelton and thank you to everyone who nominated her for this award. For more information or to nominate a CPSD employee who has demonstrated outstanding customer service, CLICK HERE for the online nomination form.
    Go Arrows!
    Go Arrows!
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  • 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!
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  • 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."
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