The Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District is working to ensure the final batch of third grade students in the Greenwood and Leflore County school districts pass a state-mandated reading test.

During a meeting Wednesday, Dr. Jennifer Wilson, the superintendent of the Greenwood School District, told the consolidated board about the city district’s plans for remediation.

All Greenwood third graders took the test in April. Those who needed to take it for a second time in order to advance to the fourth grade retook the test in May.

Now, close to 40% of Greenwood third graders might not move on to the next grade if they do not score high enough when they take the test for a third time in late July.

Students who pass the test aren’t required to retake it.

“Remediation is occurring during the month of June. From June 3 through June 24, Monday through Thursday, we’re doing four days. Two of the days we’re doing 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the other two days we’re doing full days, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Wilson said.

That means there will be more than 68 hours of remediation before the final test.

Wilson said a member of the Greenwood School Board approached her to see if the city school district could partner with the Leflore County School District to maximize tutoring services for remediation. 

Officials from the county district could not be reached to provide results or comment last week or early this week regarding the second taking of the test.

Dr. James Johnson-Waldington, the county district’s interim superintendent, also did not appear before the consolidated board to provide results. Deirdre Mayes, the board president, said she emailed him but did not get a response back.

Following the first taking of the test, just over 61 percent of the county’s third graders did not score well enough to advance to grade 4.

On Thursday, the consolidated school district will hold two informational meetings for parents of third graders to advise them on how to prepare their children for the test. One meeting will be held at Leflore County Elementary School at 10 a.m. The second will be held at East Elementary at 1:30 p.m.

Third graders from the city schools will take the reading test on June 25, and third grade students from the county schools will take it June 27, Wilson said.

The city and county school districts will merge July 1 to form the consolidated district.

After the meeting, Dr. Mary Brown, the superintendent of the consolidated district, was asked for a response to remarks made by Mike Kent, a representative of the Mississippi Department of Education, to the Leflore County Board of Supervisors Monday.

Kent told the supervisors that the “elephant in the room” is that the consolidated district is operating too many schools on a proposed $35 million budget.

Regarding that statement, Brown said the consolidated district will await the results of Beard+Riser Architects’ facility study. Earlier this month, the school board approved a bid of about $20,000 from the architecture firm to examine the district’s buildings.

The study, which hasn’t started yet, should take 120 days or more, said Charles Johnson, assistant superintendent of organizational support. Once the study is complete, Beard+Riser will present its findings, including associated costs, to the board, Johnson said.

Brown said the district will make decisions on what repairs are needed, as well as possibly building new schools, based on the findings of the study.

The board took no action in response to Mayes’ announcement last week that she intends to resign from the board by the end of the month.

In other business:

• The district will hold a career fair at the Leflore County Educational Services Building, 1901 U.S. 82 W., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

According to Brown, 70 to 75 certified teachers still need to be hired for the upcoming school year.

•The board postponed action on accepting a bid for leasing of 16th Section land until its next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday.

• The board approved salary scales for transportation and maintenance department officials.

• Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

The original version of this article stated that it was a Leflore County School District official that approached Dr. Jennifer Wilson to have the Greenwood School District partner with the county school district for test remediation. 

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