School times changing?

Published 12:18am Friday, July 13, 2012

NATCHEZ — Decisions handed to the school board Thursday could determine what time your child gets on the school bus and to which direction the wheels go round.

At the Natchez-Adams School District’s regular board meeting, Federal Programs Director Marilyn-Alexander Turner went over some proposed changes as a result of the reorganization of the district schools.

Click here for a map of the reorganization of the schools in the city limits.

Due to more efficient bus routes delivering many children to residentially zoned schools, schools will start later in the morning than in the past.

All elementary schools for students in kindergarten through fifth grade will start at 8 a.m. and dismiss at 2:45 p.m.

Morgantown Middle School will start at 8:15 a.m. and dismiss at 3:15 p.m.

Natchez High School and the ninth grade academy on Natchez High’s campus will begin at 8:30 a.m. and dismiss at 3:30 p.m.

Turner also presented residential zoning maps for elementary students attending West, Frazier and McLaurin elementary schools.

Turner said maps would be available at the Braden administrative offices on Homochitto Sreet and at every elementary school. Superintendent Frederick Hill also said copies would be placed at the public library and at some area churches.

Turner said the district would also publicize the maps in the The Natchez Democrat. And parents can call ConnectEd, the district’s telephone messaging system, for information pertaining to their child’s school assignment.

Starting on the first day of school Aug. 20, West, Frazier and McLaurin elementary schools will house kindergarten through fifth graders based on residential zones.

West Elementary School will house students from all residences west of Melrose Avenue and Melrose Montebello Parkway, most houses downtown, those west of Bishop Street, parts of Minor Street and all houses in the Cemetery Road area.

McLaurin Elementary School will house students east of Melrose Avenue and Melrose Montebello Parkway, east of the Brenham Avenue area, south of Kelly Avenue and Dumas Drive, as well as houses north of St. Catherine’s Creek starting near Booker Road.

Frazier Elementary School will house students northwest of St. Catherine’s Creek where the creek intersects near the Dumas Drive area. The Dumas Drive area is also included in Frazier zone, as well as all houses north of Kelly Avenue.

Most of the county’s supervisor District 1 will be assigned to West. Most of District 2, all of District 3 and parts of District 5 will be assigned to McLaurin. And most of District 4 and parts of District 5 will be assigned to Frazier.

In other school news:

4 In a brief swoop, the Natchez-Adams School Board approved the district’s $39,822,109 budget for the next fiscal year without discussion.

The proposed budget includes an increase in ad valorem funding of $565,000, which will be generated by taxes on homes, automobile tags, business equipment and rental property.

The new budget, however, is $2 million less than last year’s budget due to cuts from the state and federal level.

Board member Tim Blalock made the motion to accept the budget as proposed, and Dr. Benny Wright seconded it.

Board President Wayne Barnett and board member David Troutman voted in favor of the motion.

Shortly after expressing continued concern that board members be more involved in the budgeting process, Newsome abstained.

“I don’t feel comfortable (voting on budget decisions) when we’ve not discussed it,” Newsome said. “I hope somewhere down the line (budgeting without school board participation) will stop being the norm.”

Board members defended the importance of educational services to attendees at a July 5 public hearing on the budget. Some vocal attendees at the hearing questioned the cost of a $10,858-per-pupil budget.

4 Hill recommended the district participate this year in a state pilot program that evaluates school principals.

Hill said principals in all districts in the state would be evaluated using the new model by the 2013-2014 school year.

“(Participating this year) will give us an opportunity to be exposed and stick our feet out there to say what it is we can expect from the new (evaluation) tool,” Hill said.

Hill said an interesting aspect of the new evaluation model is that 50 percent of the evaluation is based on student performance.

He said some administrators in the state were reluctant to be evaluated with the new tool, but he thought it was best to volunteer before the model was forced on the district.

“Whether we like it or not, (the new model) is coming,” Hill said.

Newsome said she hoped the evaluation would provide useful information.

Blalock agreed with the recommendation, saying it’s always best to be proactive rather than reactive.

“There’s wisdom in doing what Dr. Hill is recommending,” Blalock said.

The board voted unanimously to participate in the pilot evaluation service.

  • Anonymous

    I am glad my child does not have to attend Morgantown Middle school,  8:15 am to 3:15 am.  That is a long school day!

  • Anonymous

    The new district maps should be on the NASD website as well as the other places mentioned.  (Area churches?) 

  • Anonymous

    Those were the hours I did when I was in middle and high school.  It’s not gonna hurt ‘em.

  • Anonymous

     What I do not understand is if schools everywhere are having financial problems how exactly will this help? does this not mean school will be in session longer therefore causing schools to pay more for operating cost,and wages of teachers and staff? this makes no sense to me… that seems an awful long time to try and get younger children to stay focused…. kinda think  maybe they should rethink this plan a little more. Keeping a child longer is just gonna make them disinterested rather than interested. back in the day they used to teach what needed to be taught in a shorter period of time and it worked… what changed?

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Here is another over half million dollars down the drain of Adams County schools that is paying over $12,000 per student that doesn’t care to learn but occupy a desk!! Board raising taxes on the taxpayers has got to stop and this is the reason for a elected school board!!! To much money for no return!!

  • Anonymous

    Notice the am on the end of 3:15, thus the comment.  However, that would be a good way to curb juvenile crime.

  • Anonymous

    Hours of classroom time are regulated by the state, and do not think the teachers/district want to keep the students one minute longer than required.  Teacher pay is also dictated by a scale, not by the number of minutes they work.

  • Anonymous

     School usually runs from 8-3.  What’s the difference in 15 minutes later??

  • Anonymous

    It’s now fixed online. Thanks for the heads up.
    Emily Lane

  • Anonymous

    look again 8:15AM to 3:15 AM, you may be looking but you are not READING and UNDERSTANDING what you read.

  • Anonymous

    to snowgarden again READ and COMPREHEND 8:15 AM to 3:15AM?

  • Anonymous

    YOU’RE the one that needs to read it again.

  • Anonymous

    Where are you getting AM from?  It says 8:15am to 3:15pm.  Open your eyes.

  • Anonymous

    again I say these kids are not going to school from 8:15 in the morning until 3:15 in the morning

  • Anonymous

    when I read the ND early on the morning the story came out it said 8:15am to 3:15 am, the story was later corrected.

  • Anonymous

    See Emily’s comment herein, it was corrected from am to pm online after it was written about.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree!  Looks like the times are about the same as when I was in school. Didn’t know they had changed much previously.