Meridian Public School District discusses plans for the future

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 5:16 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge for school districts across the country in 2022.

The pandemic and how to keep students and teachers safe is a top priority for the Meridian Public School District. The school board met with superintendent, Dr. Amy Carter, Friday.

“I just want to continue to reassure our parents that we know that with COVID there is a lot of anxiety and a lot of angst out there. And we just want to reassure them that we’re doing everything we can to educate our students safely and we look forward to having each of them back in the classroom,” Carter said.

The group talked about how to use federal COVID-19 relief funds, also called ESSER funds.

“We spend some time looking at our current performance. We spend some time looking at our existing facilities, and we discuss plans for possible renovations with the ESSER funding. We spend time looking at those and then looking at any other possible funding sources and what we will need to do to move the district forward,” Carter said.

The district believes it has done a good job serving students during the pandemic but there’s always room for improvement. Clay Sims, director of operations and maintenance, spoke briefly about how the district has done this year.

“Overall, things have been going fairly well for us in the current climate,” said Sims. “We’ve done very well to be able to stay stocked up with the PPE and provide it for the safety of our students, staff, and visitors. Things have been going really well and we want to update the board of that, as well as make them aware of our future plans.”

Teacher retention is also a goal. It’s a national problem because teachers are underpaid. Teachers in the Mississippi are among the lowest paid in the nation. The board wants to partner with local universities and community colleges to recruit new teachers.

The board also said it believes in promoting teaching as a career path for youth.

For more information on how the school district is using federal COVID-19 funds locally, go to the MPSD website.

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