Lafayette Schools plan for great year

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2016

By Allen Brewer

With new grants approved by the state to help local homeless children and new advancements in its Chinese language class, the Lafayette County School District hopes to provide its students with new opportunities this school year.

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School starts back for students on Friday, leaving much to discuss at Monday night’s board meeting.

Board members were excited to hear that a grant was approved to help local homeless students in Lafayette. Approximately 150 students are considered homeless, which varies in permanent home status and family conditions. Most of the money will go into school tutoring programs and to purchase basic school supplies and transportation for the students.

The school is also waiting for a title grant to be approved by the state to fund teacher development programs. The new grants will help with paying for professional training and teacher salaries.

“We are doing very well,” Business Director Mark Brown said. “Financially, we are very sound. Starting a new year for everyone, it’s going to be a lot of buzz.”

New course offering

This year will also be the first year that LCSD will offer Chinese 3, an advancement of the foreign language classes Chinese 1 and 2, to high school students. Students taking this class can earn college credit through the University of Mississippi to get a jump start.

“Chinese 3 furthers their study and opens opportunities,” said Patrick Robinson, assistant superintendent.

Before students arrive on Friday, teachers will spend two days in staff development with motivational speaker Larry Bell. A multicultural American educationist, Bell’s speeches are aimed to help teachers work with struggling students.

The board is still analyzing the raw scores from the 2015-2016 testing, and will release those scores in October when the state lifts an embargo on the test scores.

The board meeting also approved the tour bus rental for the Lafayette choir group on their 2017 trip to Washington D.C.

Though the summer is ending, students can look forward to starting a new year with new opportunities.

“Every year is a great year,” Superintendent Adam Pugh said. “I am expecting a great year.”