School Board Retracts Previous Decision On Out-Of-District Transfers

The Calhoun County School Board reversed a previous decision regarding out-of-district transfers at a meeting Monday night in Pittsboro.

The Calhoun County School Board reversed a previous decision regarding out-of-district transfers at a meeting Monday night in Pittsboro.
Wade Blount and the Coley family, both of whom live in the Sarepta and Randolph areas, pleaded with the board Monday to allow their children to attend South Pontotoc.
The board voted at its last meeting to deny out-of-district transfers due to tax money lost except in cases of extreme hardship or an instructional employee’s child.
Wade Blount told the board Monday his son Dusty has never attended Calhoun schools, that he has always been allowed to transfer to South Pontotoc. Last year, he attended Calhoun Academy, but decided this year he would rather return to South.
South Pontotoc High School had informed the school board they didn’t want any Calhoun transfers at the high school level due to concern it could push them into Class 4A. A letter from the school did say they were willing to take students in lower grades. Blount is an eighth grader.
The Coley family has four children that have attended South Pontotoc the past two years. The family had to move to Sarepta this year due to “financial problems,” but Mrs. Coley said their intentions are to move back to Pontotoc County within the year.
She told the board her children have experienced “nothing but trouble” when attending Bruce, and they didn’t want to go back.
Coley said if her children were not allowed to transfer to South she would pull them out and home school.
School Board President Billy McCord said his research revealed the school district has no written policy concerning out-of-district transfers. He said he has asked the Mississippi School Board Association for a suggested policy the board could consider adopting at next month’s meeting.
“I don’t see how we can’t not let them go back when we’ve allowed that before,” School Board Member Susan Hardin said.
“In the absence of a policy, I agree,” President McCord said. “I think we need to retract our last decision.”
“I understand the hardship of these families,” School Board Member Bozzie Edwards said. “I just hope the policy reflects that.”
The motion to allow the transfers passed unanimously.
Afterwards, Attorney Paul Moore Jr. cautioned the board about stopping transfers in the future.
“It’s important to keep in mind that Calhoun has benefited from transfers in the past, particularly from Chickasaw and Grenada counties,” Moore said.
In other news from the meeting:
•The board approved the student transfer of Makario West from Bruce High School to Calhoun City High School, citing it as a “medical hardship.”
•The board approved the student transfer of instructional employee’s child, Caleb Butler, from Chickasaw to Vardaman Elementary.
•The board approved the student transfer of Kelsie Hall from Houston to Calhoun.
•Personnel items approv-ed were: Catherine Jones hired as SpEd teacher at Bruce replacing Kimberly Posley; Kristy Tindall hired as classroom teacher at Vardaman replacing Bradley White; Tania Nelson hired as teacher assistant at Vardaman;
Substitute teachers hired were Chasity Freelon and Christy Freelon at VHS; Jenny Hill at VES; and Leigh Childs at CTC.
Jukeshila D. Thornton hired as student worker, Jon Hardin and Wilbur Holmes hired as substitute bus drivers.
•The board approved a contract with Central Access Systems for SAM?(Student Administration Manager). Superintendent Moore said this will replace the old Oscar program and allow access for students and parents in the system for closer monitoring of grades, schedule making and more.
“This is much more user-friendly,” Moore said.
He said the switch would take place this month. It would be part of the school district’s new website.
•The board approved the “Opt-Out Graduation Form” that allows students who are behind in credits to seek a different route to graduation.
Students who were first-time ninth graders in 2008 are required to earn 26 credits to graduate (the state requires 24).
If at the end of a sophomore year it is determined a student is in danger of not earning enough credits to graduate, he/she can opt out and only need 21 credits, but must meet the following criteria:
-must earn enough credits (12) to be classified a junior.
-must have been retained and repeated at least one grade level.
-must have already passed the algebra I, biology I, English II multiple choice, and English II writing subject area tests.
-the student, parent, counselor and principal must all be in agreement this is the best route.

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