NASD approves contract renewal for Ombudsman Alternative School

Published 12:03 am Friday, January 22, 2016

NATCHEZ — The Ombudsman Alternative School’s contract was renewed for another three years at the Natchez-Adams Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, but not without some discussion.

Board member Cynthia Smith asked questions about the school, including its staff and how they were saving money. She said she wasn’t doubting Ombudsman’s integrity or the program, but there was a lot of outsourcing going on in the district and she wanted to see if the district could save that money themselves.

“I’m just concerned about how they can do it so much cheaper than we can,” Smith said after the meeting.

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Board member Thelma Newsome made the motion to approve Ombudsman and was seconded by Vice president Benny Wright. The motion passed with four votes and Smith abstaining.

In other business:

-Superintendent Frederick Hill read out loud a letter from the Mississippi Department of Education stating that, due to a scoring error on the part of the Dynamic Learning Mas vendor, the school grades would not be released in late January.

The letter did not give a date when they would be released.

-Two meetings were planned to discuss policies, the budget, and the superintendent’s evaluation. The board decided to schedule a special called meeting at 8 a.m. Jan. 29 to discuss the evaluation.

The deadline for the evaluation was Feb. 1.

Originally, several policies and a policy correction, were going to be approved or disapproved at the meeting, but the board voted to table the discussion so they could call a meeting to discuss the policies in further detail. The meeting does not have a set date, but the board discussed a time in early February.

The plan is to discuss the district’s budget at the same meeting, as well as Creating Healthy and Responsible Teens (CHART), a sexual education program that is up for consideration.

-The board recognized Robert Lewis Magnet School teacher Tonya Washington for her work in teaching high school biology to middle schoolers. When her students were tested, 90 percent of them tested at proficient or above.

The girl’s and boy’s middle school basketball teams were also recognized for being two-time district champions.

-At the end of the meeting the board went into executive session for one due process hearing, a zone transfer and to hear a legal report.