For the past several days, teachers for the Meridian Public School District have been in meetings, preparing for the start of school.
"Here at Magnolia Middle School we are receiving training in 'AIM.' 'AIM' stands for Achievement, Imagination and Motivation. This training makes us as teachers look at ourselves and the student's work and try to figure out what we can do to help our students," said Shannon Eldridge, seventh grade teacher.
According to district officials, helping students is the top priority!
As part of this effort the district has added more new teachers, primarily on the elementary level where the majority of the district's nearly 7,000 students attend. However, in terms of personnel, district officials say the news this year is somewhat bittersweet. Because of a decline in student interest, some cutbacks have been made in the areas of physical education, art and band.
"Because of the lagging number of student enrollment in some classes we decided to combine some classes. We HAVE NOT taken away the opportunity for any child to take art or band or physical education, but we could combine some classes and eliminate a position here and there," said Dr. Janet McLin, Superintendent for Meridian Public Schools.
Meanwhile, as for the Lauderdale County School system, district officials say not much will change. In terms of personnel they say no positions have been cut nor added this school year.
They go on to say that the district is prepared for any possible budget cuts.
"If we take a cut this year, we're holding back some 16th section money that will cover it. We don't like to use 16th section money for anything but primarily brick and mortar, but in a worst case scenario we will use it to operate the district," said Superintendent David Little, Lauderdale County Schools.
Classes for both the Meridian Public and Lauderdale County School districts resume Thursday.