The Carroll County School District received some good news at last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the board of trustees. The district is one standard away from being cleared and returned to good standing in state accreditation.
The school district was placed on probation by the Mississippi Department of Education more than a year ago due to numerous infractions involving the school board, how school board meetings were conducted, and institutional control in day-to-day operations discovered during an audit that took place in August 2019. The district has been working with the Mississippi Department of Education to correct any issues and return to good standing.
Superintendent Jim Ray said the district received a letter from Dr. JoAnn Malone, executive director of Accreditation for the Mississippi Department of Education, of the news. He said due to COVID-19 restrictions, the process has taken longer than expected because representatives from the Department of Education were not able to work out in the field during the pandemic.
He also said the district is working on a new audit, and it should be completed and on time.
Ray also gave the board more good news: J.Z. George High School is adding a new career and technical program.
The district will now offer welding to its students. Three career and technical center programs will be available to students, Welding, Allied Health, and Construction. He said during the 2022-2023 school year, the district will looking to add two more classes and providing students with an entire slate of career and technical center classes offered.
“We’ll be able to get more money, and we can hire an administrator to be over the [career and technical center] program,” Ray said.
He explained that the old field house on the J.Z. George campus will be renovated into an area where students will be able to learn about welding and get hands-on training. The class will be available to all juniors, with only 20 spots available. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis, and students who wish to enroll should contact J.Z. George’s guidance counselor Rashida Watson by email as soon as possible.
Ray also informed the board that the district has filled all personnel vacancies except one. The board approved hiring an interventionist and teacher positions at J.Z. George along with a cafeteria worker. Ray said he received new hires for Marshall Elementary, but he only received them an hour before the meeting began.
Those will go before the board at its special-called meeting for the approval of the budget on July 22.
“We’re still looking for an elementary counselor. Once we fill that position, then all positions will be filled,” he said.
Ray said his office was also receiving preliminary scores from state testing. However, those scores won’t go towards the district’s accountability grade due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to get better and improving what we do to help our students become successful,” Ray said.