SOCSD Board of Trustees Considering Several New Policies; Seeking Public Comment

SOCSD Logo The Starkville Oktibbeha School District Board of Trustees is considering several new policies as recommended by the Mississippi School Board’s Association or required by state or federal law.

The board held its first reading of proposed policies during its regular monthly meeting on October 10. 

The board is now seeking public comment regarding the proposed policies prior to the second reading during the regular monthly meeting on November 14. 

The policies are listed below for your review.  Please email your comments to schoolboard@starkville.k12.ms.us.

SOCSD Implements i-Ready for Reading and Math; Parent Training Guide Available

Sudduth students use ipads in the classroom for instruction. The Starkville Oktibbeha School District has implemented a program called i-Ready Diagnostic and Instruction that focuses on reading and math.  i-Ready Diagnostic and Instruction helps teachers effectively assess their students and then provide individualized instruction based on each student’s unique needs in the following skill areas:

Reading                                            

  • Phonological Awareness                                             
  • Phonics
  • High-Frequency Words
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

Math

  • Number and Operations
  • Algebra and Algebraic Thinking
  • Measurement and Data
  • Geometry

i-Ready Diagnostic and Instruction begins by giving students an adaptive assessment in reading or math.  An adaptive assessment is a test that automatically adjusts the difficulty of the questions according to each student’s performance in order to determine his or her abilities in reading or math.  i-Ready is a very different kind of test that presents students with questions that can be both too easy and too hard.  It is designed to do this until the assessment finds exactly the level at which the student is performing. 

Each time a student gets an item incorrect, he or she is then presented with a simpler question until the diagnostic finds the grade level at which the student is performing.  The assessment efficiently assesses students across multiple grade levels, allowing for identification of root causes of students’ struggles or for identification of areas where a student is ready for further challenge.  This information is used to provide the teacher with a “road map” to instructional remediation.

Once your child completes the test, he or she will be assigned online instruction to support his or her progress in mastering each skill.  The online instruction is designed to be both challenging and engaging.  i-Ready delivers interactive lessons and instruction using engaging, contemporary animation.  The result is an experience that attracts and holds your child’s interest while also teaching important skills and concepts.  These lessons are proven to help students grow academically. 

Your i-Ready Parent Training Guide which includes more information about how you can help support your child’s learning experience at home is available for download here

If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or the District Office of Student Assessment and Intervention at 662.615.0070.

 

SOCSD Launches Show Up for Excellence School Attendance Campaign for October and November

Show Up For Excellence Attendance Campaign in October and November.The Starkville Oktibbeha School District is focusing on the importance of school attendance for the months of October and November with a challenge for students to “Show Up for Excellence.”

The campaign builds on the new and expanded vision of “Expect Excellence Every Day” that Superintendent Eddie Peasant shared to start the school year. 

“Our potential demands that we expect nothing less than excellence of ourselves and our students, and that starts with showing up every day,” said Peasant.   

The goal of the District’s “Show Up For Excellence campaign” is to improve average daily attendance (ADA) which significantly impacts the level of state funding.  The state uses attendance data from the months of October and November to calculate ADA for the year.  Currently, SOCSD is losing about $840,000 annually because of students who are not at school, and the only real way to increase the District’s funding allocation is to increase ADA.  Just a one percent increase in ADA from 95 to 96 percent would result in an increase of about $200,000 for the District at the current funding level. 

As part of the attendance campaign, the District is encouraging parents to follow the 63% rule to help increase ADA and funding. 

“For a student to be counted present, he/she must be in school for at least 63% of the instructional day,” said Peasant.  “Our goal is to make our parents aware of what those time requirements are as they make decisions about when to schedule necessary appointments and when to check their students out of school,” added Peasant. 

Elementary students at West, Sudduth and Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary Schools must arrive no later than 10:20 am, and they must remain at school until the end of the day to be counted present.  Elementary students who arrive for the start of the school day at 7:40 am must remain at school until 12:15 pm to be counted present.  Students can also check out and later return to school for approximately 2.5 hours during the middle of the day and still be counted present. 

The campaign includes incentives to students who show up every day for excellence, and the school with the highest attendance at the end of October will win a school-wide pep rally to celebrate.  The students with perfect attendance will have priority seating for the celebration.  Special celebrity guests will also show up at schools during the months of October and November to encourage and motivate students. 

To kick off the campaign, Dr. Peasant shared a personal message with SOCSD families and asked them to make attendance a priority and commit to show up for excellence.

Dear Parents,

When school began nine weeks ago, I shared a new and expanded vision for our District, “Expect Excellence Every Day,” and I asked you to join me.  Together, we are redefining our #StarkvilleSpark. 

As we prepare to begin the second nine weeks of school, I have a new challenge.  I want to see all of our students at school, on time, every day, and I’m asking for your help.  For the months of October and November, our District is focusing on the importance of attendance, and we’re challenging our students to “Show Up for Excellence.”  Our potential demands that we expect nothing less than excellence of ourselves and our students, and that starts with showing up every day. 

The most important reason for your child to be at school every day is his/her academic success, but there is another reason that is critical to our District’s financial stability.  Our District is losing about $840,000 annually because of students who are not at school.  That’s because state funding for Mississippi school districts is largely based on our average daily attendance (ADA), and the only real way to increase our funding allocation is to increase our ADA.  The state uses attendance from the months of October and November to calculate our ADA for the year.  Just a one percent increase in ADA from 95 to 96 percent would result in an increase of about $200,000 for our District at the current funding level. 

Here’s how you can help us increase our ADA and our funding:  Follow the 63% rule.  For your child to be counted present, he/she must be at school for 63% of the instructional day.  That means our elementary students at West, Sudduth and Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary Schools must arrive no later than 10:20 am, and they must remain at school until the end of the day to be counted present.  Elementary students who arrive for the start of the school day at 7:40 am must remain at school until 12:15 pm to be counted present.  Your child can also check out and later return to school for approximately 2.5 hours during the middle of the day if necessary and still be counted present.  Please consider the 63% rule as you schedule required appointments for your children.   

We’re excited about attendance, and we want you and your child to be as well!  Each school is offering incentives to students who show up every day for excellence, and the school with the highest attendance at the end of October will win a school-wide pep rally to celebrate.  The students with perfect attendance will have priority seating for the celebration.  We also have some special celebrity guests who will show up at our schools during the months of October and November to encourage and motivate our students. 

I want our students to be at school all day, every day.  When your child is not at school, we miss him/her.  Our District misses out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding.  Our classrooms miss out on the #StarkvilleSpark only your child can bring every day.  And your child misses out on something amazing:  excellence.  We demonstrate our unwavering commitment to excellence when we show up every day.  Make your child’s attendance a priority and commit with me to show up for excellence.

Expect excellence and show up for it every day!

Sincerely,

Eddie Peasant
Superintendent

Get Your Spirit On! Homecoming 2017 September 25-29

Homecoming 2017 Dress Up Day ThemesStarkville High School will host 2017 Homecoming Week festivities for grades K-12 September 25-29, and we look forward to a strong show of school spirit throughout the District. 

Dress Up Day Themes 

Monday –  SCRABBLE DAY
Pick your favorite letter.  Then when you get to school, spell out a word with your friends. Everyone wears one letter. 

Tuesday – Twin Day!  Twin Day!
Because twins have more fun!  Wear the same outfit as a friend and be twins for the day!

Wednesday – Out Of This World Space Jam Day
Wear SPACE-related clothing or dress like an alien!

Thursday – Where Dreams Come True – Disney Day
Students in grades K-8 may choose their favorite Disney park or character for inspiration.
Freshmen: Magic Kingdom
Sophomores: Epcot
Juniors: Animal Kingdom
Seniors: Hollywood Studios

Friday – Black and Gold Day
Dress like the ultimate Yellow Jacket fan!

While students will be allowed to “dress-up” for spirit day themes, they must come to school dressed appropriately.  Shorts, skirts and/or dresses must be an appropriate length as defined in the student handbook.  No tank tops or other shirts that do not provide full coverage.  Students ARE NOT required to wear khaki or black pants/bottoms or specific color shirts or t’s if they dress up for spirit day.  Students who do not choose to dress according to the theme for the day must wear regular school dress code. 

Save the Dates!
Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally
September 26
6 pm
*Best viewing for parade will be along Main Street between Jackson Street and Washington Street.   
**Join us for a community-wide pep rally on the lawn of the Greensboro Center immediately following the parade.

Homecoming Game vs Northwest Rankin
September 29
7 pm
*Homecoming Queen & Court presented during halftime
*White Out Game

Leader in Me Expands to Parents with Parent University

The Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District is embracing “The Leader in Me” philosophy to help our students discover their individual greatness as student leaders. 

We invite parents to join us on this leadership journey as your child’s first and best teacher.   

The District has launched Parent University, a series of lunch and learn sessions with parents, to provide information about the universal, timeless principles found in The Leader in Me process, as well as activities you can put into practice at home to teach your student to become a leader.

We encourage parents to look for opportunities to engage your child and ask questions about what he/she is learning. You can find a complete list of the seven healthy habits plus ideas to use at home to involve the whole family in the parents section at www.TheLeaderInMe.org .

Imagine Your Ultimate Play Space at Sudduth and West Elementary Schools

The play spaces at Sudduth and West Elementary Schools are the focus of a collaborative effort between the District, Mississippi State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture, and Dalhoff Thomas Design of Memphis to upgrade and expand playground spaces.

The project begins with Design Week in the Department of Landscape Architecture as teams of university students develop their own solutions for what could take place in these school/community spaces. Sudduth Elementary will host a charrette on September 5 to involve parents, students, and members of our community in the process to develop fun, creative ideas and solutions to share with university students for their designs. This week-long exercise will culminate with university student project presentations on Friday, September 8. From there, community stakeholders will work with Dalhoff Thomas to produce elements that will compliment extramural/grant funding ventures in an attempt to make our collective dreams into a reality.

As the District explores future joint use agreements designed to increase access to high quality outdoor play areas for families and students in the greater Starkville area, stakeholders are invited to to join us as we discover the possibilities that exist for our community. 

The District welcomes our parents, teachers, administrators, students and others to participate in this process.  

Upcoming Dates & Sessions

Community Charrette & Idea Session with parents, students and community
September 5
4 until 5:30 pm @ Sudduth Elementary School
Parents, teachers, students and community members are invited to attend this come and go event to share ideas, dreams, and visions for the ultimate play space for our students.  We’ll provide the paper and the markers.  We just need your ideas and imagination!

Public Presentations of Play Designs with Q & A sessions
September 8
1 until 3 pm @ Bost Conference Center, Mississippi State University

Solar Eclipse Event & Viewing Permission Form for Students

The Great American Eclipse will be making its way across the entire continental United States on August 21.  This is the first solar eclipse that has been visible across the United States since 1918. With such a monumental event occurring during the school day, the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, working closely with Dr. Jessica Tegt who is the coordinator at the District’s Youth Environmental Science Program and STREAMS, will be conducting a viewing of the event for students who wish to participate in grades 2-8.  Safety is our top priority, and it is important for students and parents to be aware of the precautionary steps the District is implementing for this event and viewing.  

Homemade or ordinary sunglasses are not sufficient ways to view an eclipse, as the reflectivity and polarization are not high enough for viewing in a safe manner. To ensure that each participant is safe, SOCSD will be supplying those who wish to participate with a pair of glasses specifically designed for eclipse viewing. These glasses conform to the transmission requirements of ISO 12312-2, which are filters specifically designed for direct observation of the sun. We will be viewing a partial solar eclipse which will look like a fingernail/crescent shape at its greatest point.  This means that glasses must be kept on at all times during viewing.  Students should never look at the sun without special eye protection, and removing glasses even temporarily may have serious effects on your eyes.

Because of these safety concerns, a parent or guardian signature is required for students to participate in the event using the eclipse glasses. Students who do not complete this form will not be able to participate.  Students in grades 2-8 should bring home a permission form on Thursday.  Please sign it and return it to your child’s school/teacher if you would like for your child to participate in the eclipse viewing.  Parents may also print the permission form and return it to your child’s school/teacher on Friday. 

For more information about the eclipse, check out NASA’s website which provides a guide to this amazing event including activities, resources, broadcasts, safety information and more:  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

 

SHS Cheerleaders host Mini Cheer Camp September 9

Have you got Jacket spirit? Come show it with the SHS  Cheerleaders for Cheer Mini Camp!

Cheer Mini Camp —Grades K-6th

WHEN: September 9

TIME: 9 am until 12 pm; Sign-in begins at 8:30 am; Camp begins promptly at 9 am

WHERE: Starkville High School Gymnasium

COST: $30

WHAT: Great opportunity for an introduction to  cheerleading!

 CAMPERS WILL:

               Learn a chant, cheer, and dance.

               Meet the SHS cheerleaders and Buzz

               Be provided bottled water, snacks, and popsicles.

               Receive a Cheer Camp t-shirt & free tickets to high school football game on September 15

               Perform for family and friends at halftime of SHS football game on September 15

               Be taught by current SHS Cheerleaders and supervised by  current program coaches and parents.

 To REGISTER: Please complete and return the registration form to your child’s school office by September 1 with a payment of $30 per  participant. Make checks payable to SHS Cheer Boosters.

Please wear athletic shoes and clothing. Hair must be  pulled back and off the shoulders. For safety purposes no jewelry or gum is permitted. NO refunds  will be given or late registration accepted. If you have any questions, please feel free to  contact Hope Dumas at lawkat53@hotmail.com.

For more information or to download a flyer, click on the link below. 

SHS Cheerleading Mini Camp 2017

 

 

Expect Excellence Every Day: Redefining our #StarkvilleSpark

Convocation 2017 marked the beginning for a new chapter for SOCSD as Superintendent Eddie Peasant shared an expanded vision for our District that is focused on redefining our #StarkvilleSpark, Expect Excellence Every Day.

Several years ago, this district made a commitment to a common vision…
“Through rigorous and relevant learning experiences in every classroom, Starkville Oktibbeha
School District is sparking the flame of success in our students.”

A worthy goal and a worthy vision. But, in my short time as superintendent, I’ve recognized that Starkville Oktibbeha School District has a depth of potential that demands we think way bigger than just “success.” As we embark on this new school year and the first of my tenure here, I’m asking you to commit to that vision in a new way. Not to merely spark success — better grades, better test scores, more wins, more scholarships. I still expect all those things, but simply as the fruit of something more remarkable. Our potential demands a bigger and broader goal that
surpasses the common benchmarks of mere success. I’m asking you to spark the flame of
excellence.

Excellence.

It’s defined as the state of being “eminently” good. Unusually good. So good as to “surpass ordinary
standards.”
It’s a pervasive quality. A big one. An all encompassing one.
To excel in one, or two, or a few areas is good. But it’s not excellence.
Not really.
No, to be characterized as excellent is to excel in not only the few, common and readily
recognized areas, but to excel in the whole. Surpassing ordinary standards in every area, at every
level, every day.
Not just one school, but every school.
Not just this teacher, but every teacher.
Not just a few programs, but every program.
Not just one team, but every team.
Not only one child, but EVERY child.
Only then can we claim to have achieved excellence.

My goal and dream for the Starkville Oktibbeha School District is to earn the moniker of
excellence, without reservations, without excuses, and without exceptions. I want our district to
redefine what it means to be “excellent” across our state. When we say #StarkvilleSpark, it should
mean one thing… unqualified excellence.

How do we ignite that flame of excellence?
It still begins with a spark —one I’m striking with you right now…
Expect excellence every day.
Our potential demands that we expect nothing less than excellence of ourselves. Of our students.
Of our district.
Every day, in every word and action, we demonstrate our unwavering commitment to excellence.
And our belief that our students, our teachers and our district can and will achieve it. As we work
together, we expect excellence. As we learn and teach new things, we expect excellence. As we
grow and change and move forward, we expect excellence.

Expect excellence every day.

It’s the unrelenting, unreserved commitment I’m making to you today.
And, it’s the unrelenting, unreserved commitment I’m asking each of you to make to yourselves, to
your staff, to your students and to this district.
You are the #StarkvilleSpark. Through your spark, the flame of excellence ignites.

Now, will our district achieve excellence when our students arrive on August 7? Probably not. The
path to excellence will take time and diligent work. We’ll rely on those areas where we already
excel. We’ll celebrate successes. We’ll continue to identify and pursue change in areas where we
fall short. But, what I hope we will achieve on August 7 and every day after is this unwavering
commitment to expect what we know is possible… excellence. We strike that spark today. And as
the fire of excellence ignites, it can’t help but spread, moving through our administrative team, our
teachers and our schools. Excellence fuels excellence as it moves from program to program, from
classroom to classroom. As the spark touches our students, they will know that excellence is
possible. They will see excellence every day in everything we do. They will learn to expect
excellence every day, because we do.

So, I am asking you to say with me today… This is MY commitment to every student, every day. To
ignite the spark of excellence. And fuel it.

Partnership School project continues to move forward despite delayed start due to rain

A very wet summer has delayed the completion of dirt work required to begin construction on the Starkville Oktibbeha School District-Mississippi State University Partnership School

Bruce Wood, architect for the project, provided an updated bidding and construction schedule to the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School Board of Trustees during its regular August meeting on Tuesday. 

The contract for the dirt work was expected to be completed in September, but a 45-day rain delay has pushed that date back to November. The delay also means the school’s completion date is now spring 2019. 

“There’s a lot of anticipation and excitement about the opening of this new school, and I think we’re all a little disappointed, but the revised schedule gives us some flexibility,” said Eddie Peasant, SOCSD superintendent.  “It definitely eliminates the additional planning required for a move in the middle of the school year, and it will allow us to adequately prepare the building to be ready to welcome students on the first day.” 

The new schedule also extends the construction time from 14 months to 16 months in effort to keep bid prices within the projected budget since a tighter construction schedule could drive up the cost.  

Prior to Tuesday’s board meeting, Wood and others with JH&H Architects met with university and district leaders to review interior finishes, acoustic and audio-visual requirements and science classrooms. 

“We’ve had some really good meetings with JH&H, and we’ve made some adjustments to art and music spaces on the spot to maximize instruction and provide the best learning environment for our students,” said Peasant.  “Our state, our community and our university have invested a lot of resources in this project, and we want to make sure we get it right.”

gray line