Page 1

Volume 40, No. 1 / July 2011

MSBA to offer webinars, online training sessions During this school year, MSBA will expand its use of technology to literally make training available to board members from the comfort of their home computers. MSBA will “test the waters” by providing the option for board members to take this year’s two 3-hour training courses online, as well as the six-hour course, “Improving Student Achievement and Academic Success.” These courses also will be available regionally throughout the state as usual. As online courses, each webinar and training session will be innovative, topical, and practical. Participants will be able to ask questions and watch videos. Quizzes built into the training are designed to gauge understanding of the content. “Improving Student Achievement and Academic Success” will be launched this fall. So, keep an eye on MSBA’s website,, for more information.

Very Important Deadlines! September 1 Board Member of the Year nominations due September 9 Nominations to the MSBA Board of Directors due October 7 Legislative Survey Feedback due See pages 5-6 for more information

MSBA WCT to return $1.5 million in dividends


he trustees of the MSBA Workers’ Compensation Trust have made the decision to return dividends to members for the second straight year! During the last fund year, trustees gave their approval to make a $3 million member refund (dividend).  The latest member refund, approved by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, will go to districts that participated in the Trust during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 fund years. Focused attention in recent years on school employee safety through loss control training and education as well as emphasis on return to work strategies for injured employees have contributed greatly to the healthy financial position of the self-funded WCT, says Anissa Young, MSBA Insurance Program Manager. Districts eligible for the member refund will be contacted about how the refund can be used to reduce their 2011-2012 premium.  Contact Young about WCT renewal or to get a quote for coverage for your district. Call toll free at 888-367-6722 or email PROMOTING MISSISSIPPI –– At the NSBA Southern Region Conference in Asheville, North Carolina July 13-15, MSBA President Marian Barksdale introduced a promotional video announcing that Mississippi will host the 2012 event in Biloxi. MSBA is well on the way to firming up the agenda for the July 23-26, 2012 Southern Region Conference at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. Registration for the conference will be available online soon and instructions for hotel reservations will be provided in the coming weeks.


MSBA seeks proposals for “best practices” presentations at the 40th Annual Conference in February. Does your district hold the secret to outstanding student achievement? Alcorn School District goes Solar

2011-12 Board Development Schedule, which also lists special events including Legal Hot Topics, the annual RISK Seminar, and the AABC Conference. New school year, new district policy requirements. Bills passed by the 2011 Session of the Mississippi Legislature.





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Vice President for Education Services 662-538-5227

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Marketing 662-891-1178




The Update is published bimonthly as a resource for school board members and administrators throughout Mississippi, designed to keep them abreast of issues affecting education locally, nationally and internationally. Comments and suggestions are welcomed. Michael W. Waldrop, Ph.D. Executive Director Denotris Jackson Director of Policy / Advocacy Linda Buford-Burks Director of Communications Darla J. Warren Business Manager Anissa Young, CSRM Insurance Program Manager

LISTENING INTENTLY -- Staff reports on activities of the association at the July 21 meeting of the MSBA Board of Directors were received with deep interest, evident from the expressions of (from left) MSBA President Marian Barksdale, Vice President Miranda Beard, and Board Member Glenda Barrett. MSBA staff member Denotris Jackson, far right, also is pictured. Among the actions of the board was President Barksdale’s appointment of members of the 2011-12 Nominating Committee and the Board Member of the Year Committee. Both committees will make reports at the November 14-15 Fall Leadership Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson.

Andrew Ousley Technology Manager Jenni Owen Trainer, MSBA Center for Board Development (CBD) Rose Regina Coordinator of Workers’ Compensation Amy McIntosh, CSRM Risk Management Specialist April Mills Executive Assistant Alexis Cole, Receptionist Jim Keith, J.D. General Counsel John T. Mandeville Business Development / Marketing 225-953-1124 /

Some news items in this issue may have been taken in part or in whole from resources outside MSBA’s organization. Regular columns in this newsletter from outside resources include: • Technicalities, compiled from a newsletter of the same name published by State Auditor Stacey Pickering’s Office; • AG’s Opinions, from Attorney General Jim Hood’s Office; and,

• Ethics Opinions, from the Mississippi Ethics Commission - Tom Hood, Executive Director. Additionally, information in this issue about school district honors not presented by MSBA or about exemplary school district programs is likely from the districts or from the Mississippi Department of Education.

Mississippi School Boards Association

489 Springridge Road • P. O. Box 203 • Clinton, MS 39060 (601) 924-2001 • Fax: (601) 924-2003 • Toll Free: (888) 367-6722


The mission of the Mississippi School Boards Association is to ensure quality school board performance through advocacy, technical assistance, board development and information dissemination.


At MSBA, we are: • Honest • Promise Keepers • Membership Service Focused • Seekers of Perfection



from the State Auditor’s Office

Policy References, where applicable, are in blue. An Opportunity for Businesses to Join in Support of Better School Governance and Higher Student Achievement Affiliate Members

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Thinking about Going Paperless?

Contact Darla Warren at MSBA today about making the right connections. BoardBook is MSBA’s paperless solution for effective board meetings.

Has the penalty for wrongful denial of access to public records changed? Yes, as of July 1, 2011. Senate Bill 2289 amended Section 25-61-15 and it now states, “Any person who shall deny to any person access to any public record which is not exempt from the provisions of this chapter may be liable civilly in a sum not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) per violation, plus all reasonable expenses incurred by such person bringing the proceeding.” CNA   May an employee of a local government who is participating in the Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) continue to work after retiring through PERS? Yes.  However, as of July 1, 2011 Section 25-11-127 requires the employee to wait 90 days after retiring to start back to work; and he/she may only work ½ of the time and earn only ½ of the annual compensation based upon a July to June year.  The employee may as an alternative work an amount of time to earn 25% of his/her average compensation for retirement purposes. GBRJ   Must an employee returning from reserve military duty be restored to the job position held when he/she was called to duty? Yes, or a position similar in status, pay and seniority, according to Section 33-1-19. NOTE:  Senate Bill 2547, passed in the 2011 Regular Session, amends Section 27-39-207 to clarify that the required newspaper publication for a school board’s annual ad valorem tax assessment for the support of a school district is not required if no increase in ad valorem tax effort in dollars is proposed. DCC, DCCA, DFA, KCB   Should bonds for elected school board members be issued for four years or for their six year term? The surety bonds for each board member should be issued for his or her six year term. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Basil dated May 27, 2011) BBBD, DH   Is a school board member exempt from school district policies regulating school visitors, such as sign-in and visitor pass requirements? No.  No law prevents a school district from requiring individual board members to sign in and obtain a visitor’s pass when visiting schools in the district. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Parson dated May 13, 2011) BBBCB, KM

Register online now for upcoming MSBA events 888-367-6722


Board members and other school leaders can take advantage of MSBA’s first events for 2011-12 to earn continuing education (and SEMI) credits while refining critical skills and gaining insight into timely education issues. On September 26, the continuing education course, “Conducting Effective Board Meetings,” will be held 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at South Panola High School in Batesville. On September 27 the course, “The Board’s Role in School Health,” will be held in the same time slot at the same location. The first statewide event is the Legal Hot Topics session addressing student discipline matters, scheduled 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. October 5 at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl. Register online at

New school year brings new district policy requirements


ue to legislation passed during the 2011 Legislative Session, school districts will have added responsibilities in a number of areas. While brief summaries are provided below, more details can be found on the MSBA website, www.msbaonline. org.

House Bill (HB) 636 - Allows districts to assess home schooled students for certain privileges. HB 639 - Stipulates how districts can enter into a contract to allow a community or junior college to provide an adult GED program on their behalf or contract with other entities to acquire space for districts to provide such programs.


Legislative Survey

MSBA has mailed out the annual survey to get board member input for developing the 2012 MSBA Legislative Agenda. The survey also is available on MSBA’s website, The survey, which should be completed by individual board members, provides an opportunity for board members to document concerns they want brought before the Mississippi Legislature. Information from surveys received by the October 7 deadline will be compiled and presented for action of the Delegates Assembly at the MSBA Fall Leadership Conference, set for November 14-15 at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson.

HB 641 - Districts must report sexual misconduct of teachers and students to the Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi Department of Human Services and the District Attorney’s Office. The law sets penalties for failure to report such acts. HB 999 - Requires school boards to adopt a policy for an abstinence-only education or abstinence-plus education curriculum by June 2012. Districts also must have a program of instruction in place by the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. HB 1126 - Allows districts to purchase easements for access to 16th Section lands and stipulates procedures. HB 1178 - Prescribes procedures for transferring students in and out of alternative schools. Senate Bill (SB) 2372 - Permits the use of school buses to transport community

citizens to military air shows without liability to the district. SB 2433 - Requires districts to provide parents a copy of the procedural safeguards established by MDE when a child is referred for special education evaluation. SB 2511 - Authorizes the school board to reject bids for hunting and fishing on 16th Section lands and to hold auctions among the bidders. SB 2547 - Requires districts to advertise ad valorem tax assessment only if assessment results in a dollar increase to tax payers. SB 2659 - Establishes a district-level community council in districts where there is a school at risk. SB 2869 - Clarifies dual enrollment and requires boards to adopt a mandatory grading policy.

• Sample policies for the Abstinence-Only and Abstinence-Plus sex education curricula, as required by House Bill 999 • Sample policies for the new Professional Educator Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, mandated by House Bill 641 • MSBA Board of Directors Nomination Form (due September 9) • 2011 Board Member of the Year Nomination form (due September 1) • Documents for application to the 2011-12 MSBA Cash Flow Management Program: Cash Flow Data Sheet and Financial Questionnaire • 2011-12 Board Development Schedule (also on page 7 of this newsletter) • Link to the MSBA Twitter account. Follow us!


MDE releases preliminary student test results

Know an outstanding Board Member?

MSBA is seeking candidates for the Board Member of the Year Award, to be presented November 15 during the MSBA Fall Leadership Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson. Nominations for the Board Member of the Year honor started rolling in shortly after information and forms were mailed to board members July 7. Nomination forms, also available online at www., should be submitted by September 1.

Want to serve your state association?

Forms for consideration to serve a two-year term on the MSBA Board of Directors were mailed late this month. Available also online at www.msbaonline. org, the form for board member nominations should be completed by September 9. The MSBA Board of Directors meets quarterly, setting association policy and providing guidance for MSBA programs and services.

MDE plans random check for compliance

In accordance with Accreditation Policy 5.1 of the Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards, 2010, the Office of Accreditation (Mississippi Department of Education) will conduct a series of random, unannounced audits to verify compliance with district plans submitted for making up missed days of school.


reliminary state assessment results released July 22 by the Mississippi Department of Education show that the state’s students continue to make progress in their achievement. Prior to the release of final scores and accreditation levels, the MDE will continue to review the data for testing anomalies and work with school districts to make adjustments, according to a MDE news release. The Mississippi Curriculum Test, Second Edition (MCT2) is given to students in grades 3 through 8 in Language Arts and Mathematics. The MCT2 was first implemented in 2007-08 to assess the state’s more rigorous curriculum standards for language arts and mathematics. The revised curriculum standards are based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and other national standards. “I am pleased that we continue to make incremental progress in Language Arts. For the first time, Mississippi has over 50% of its students in each grade scoring in the proficient or advanced categories,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tom Burnham. “Also there has been an increase in proficiency in every grade other than 5th grade, which maintained last year’s proficiency level. The increasing Language Arts proficiency shows that our efforts with literacy and our emphasis on more rigorous standards are having a positive effect. These results demonstrate that students

will rise to our level of expectation.” The assessment results will help determine performance classifications for schools and districts using the accountability model. Schools will be classified from highest to lowest: Star School, High Performing,

Successful, Academic Watch, Low Performing, At-Risk of Failing and Failing. The 2011 school and district performance classifications will be released in September. To view detailed test results, visit and click on search for state, district or school data.

Information, charts courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Education


2011-12 Board Development Schedule Register Online @

Continuing Education Courses (3 credit hours) DATE




Mon Sept 26

5 - 8 pm

Tue Sept 27 Sat Oct 15

5 - 8 pm 9 am - 12 n

Conducting Effective Board Meetings

BATESVILLE / South Panola High School

The Board’s Role in School Health The Board’s Role in School Health

BATESVILLE / South Panola High School GULFPORT / Central Office

Sat Oct 15

1 - 4 pm

Conducting Effective Board Meetings

GULFPORT/ Central Office


5 - 8 pm

Conducting Effective Board Meetings


Mon Nov 7

5 - 8 pm

Tue Nov 8 Sat Nov 19

5 - 8 pm 9 am - 12 n

Conducting Effective Board Meetings The Board’s Role in School Health

LOUISVILLE / Lake Tiak O’khata HATTIESBURG / Hattiesburg School District Office

Sat Nov 19 Sat Jan 28 Sat Jan 28 Sat Feb 11 Sat Feb 11 Tue Mar 6 Thu Mar 8 Mon Mar 19 Tue Mar 20 TBD Sat May 5 Sat May 5 Sat Jun 30

1 - 4 pm 9 am - 12 n 1 - 4 pm 1 - 4 pm 9 am - 12 n 5 - 8 pm 5 - 8 pm 5 - 8 pm 5 - 8 pm 5 - 8 pm 9 am - 12 n 1 - 4 pm 9 am - 12 n

Conducting Effective Board Meetings The Board’s Role in School Health Conducting Effective Board Meetings The Board’s Role in School Health Conducting Effective Board Meetings The Board’s Role in School Health Conducting Effective Board Meetings The Board’s Role in School Health Conducting Effective Board Meetings The Board’s Role in School Health Conducting Effective Board Meetings The Board’s Role in School Health Conducting Effective Board Meetings

HATTIESBURG / Hattiesburg School District Office GRENADA / Country Inn & Suites GRENADA / Country Inn & Suites PICAYUNE / Picayune Junior High School PICAYUNE / Picayune Junior High School SUMMIT / Southwest MS Community College SUMMIT / Southwest MS Community College CLEVELAND / Delta State University CLEVELAND / Delta State University DISTRICT 1 / TBA TUPELO / Hancock Leadership Center TUPELO / Hancock Leadership Center CLINTON / MS High School Activities Association

Sat Jun 30

1 - 4 pm

The Board’s Role in School Health

CLINTON / MS High School Activities Association

The Board’s Role in School Health

LOUISVILLE / Lake Tiak O’khata

Basic Course of Instruction for New School Board Members DATE Fri Dec 9 & Sat Dec 10 Fri Apr 20 & Sat Apr 21 Fri Jun 22 & Sat Jun 23

TIME 8 am – 5:30 pm Fri; 8 am – 12:30 pm Sat 8 am – 5:30 pm Fri; 8 am – 12:30 pm Sat 8 am – 5:30 pm Fri; 8 am – 12:30 pm Sat

LOCATION RAYMOND / Eagle Ridge Conference Center RAYMOND / Eagle Ridge Conference Center RAYMOND / Eagle Ridge Conference Center

MSBA Statewide Events DATE Nov 14 Nov 15 Feb 27 Feb 28-29 Apr 30 May 1 DATE Oct 5 Jan 18 Mar 7

EVENT Early Bird Session: MSBA Fall Leadership Conference MSBA Fall Leadership Conference Early Bird Leadership Seminar MSBA’s 40th Annual Conference Early Bird Session: Legislative Update & School Law Review Legislative Update & School Law Review TIME 10 am – 2:00 pm 10 am – 2:00 pm 10 am – 2:00 pm

LOCATION JACKSON / Jackson Hilton Hotel JACKSON / Jackson Hilton Hotel JACKSON / Jackson Hilton Hotel JACKSON / Jackson Hilton Hotel JACKSON / Jackson Marriott Hotel JACKSON / Jackson Marriott Hotel

Legal Hot Topics

LOCATION PEARL / Muse Center (On Rankin Campus of Hinds Community College) Eagle Ridge Conference Center / Raymond, MS Embassy Suites Hotel / Ridgeland, MS

HOURS 3 3 3 6+3 3 6 HOURS 3 3 3

Other Statewide Events (No Credit Hours for Board Members) DATE Mar 7-8 May 1-2

EVENT RISK (Reliable Insurance Support & Information) Seminar AABC (Administrative Assistants / Board Clerks) Conference

LOCATION Embassy Suites Hotel / Ridgeland, MS Embassy Suites Hotel / Ridgeland, MS


SUPERINTENDENT Starkville School District Starkville, Mississippi Application Deadline: October 31, 2011 Brochure, Application available on or before September 12, 2011 on the MSBA website, The Starkville School District Board of Trustees has engaged the services of MSBA in conducting a search for a new superintendent. MSBA also will be providing superintendent search services to the Columbus School District Board of Trustees and the Tupelo School District Board of Trustees. Applications, announcement brochures and other details for the Columbus and Tupelo searches will be available on the MSBA website in the coming weeks. Check the job posting area of the website regularly for updates.

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WANTED: Best Practices Proposals

MSBA is seeking proposals from school districts for “Best Practices” concurrent sessions at the MSBA 40th Annual Conference, set for February 27-29, 2012 at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson. Each session will last approximately one hour. For consideration, school districts proposals should focus on innovative, effective student achievement programs, cost-cutting measures, and other outstanding strategies that can be replicated in other school districts. An online form for presentation proposals will be available on the MSBA website by September 1, with deadline for receipt by September 30. MSBA will consider only proposals submitted using the online, fillable form.

Alcorn School District goes solar


he Alcorn School District is completing an energy makeover, transforming its energy system to a 50 KW ground-mounted solar collection system funded by a grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition to providing an energy source for the school district, the system offers the opportunity for Alcorn students to learn about this more environment friendly energy system and will potentially generate income for the district from the selling of excess power to Alcorn County Electric. The Alcorn School District planned to introduce the community to the new energy system at a July 26 orientation. As a part of the project, the district is performing the following upgrades: • New thermostats and remotely monitored control systems • Lighting upgrades and lighting occupancy sensors • New HVAC equipment • Computer power management • Drop ceilings • Roof replacements • New windows • A switch from propane to natural gas MSBA congratulates the Alcorn School District on this innovative project. The school district leadership team consists of board members Peggy Bain, Mary Kathryn Coleman, Carroll Morton, Russ Nash, and Randy Wilbanks; and, superintendent Stacy D. Suggs.

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MSBA Board of Directors OFFICERS

District 3 (2009-2011) Barbara Jones Lauderdale County

DIRECTORS District 1 (2009-2011) David Duncan South Tippah


Marian Barksdale Oxford Vice President

Sondra Odom Pearl

Miranda Beard Laurel

Stephen Dodd DeSoto County


Tommy Prude Columbus Municipal

Bobby Gault New Albany

District 2 (2010-2012) Tommie Cardin Clinton

Immediate Past President

Lygunnah Bean South Panola

William Kinard, Jr. Coahoma County Demetric Warren Hollandale

Presidential Appointees*

Glenda Barrett Gary Golden Newton County Pontotoc City

Etta Taplin North Pike District 4 (2010-2012) Steve Conner Quitman Patricia Stennet Hancock County James Stubbs Long Beach

Jerome Hafter Greenville

*Serve during the MSBA President’s one-year term of office.



Dr. Lucius Lampton South Pike


School is out for the Summer. Will you be ready for the Fall?

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2011 July-August Update  
2011 July-August Update  

Bi-monthly newsletter of the Mississippi School Boards Association.