Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer

Published 11:00 am Friday, May 23, 2014


To the expected relief of thousands of students, today marks the first day of summer vacation for students in the Vicksburg Warren School District.

The end of school brings to a close a year of change and shifts in the district that included the hiring of Superintendent Chad Shealy as well as David Campbell, assistant superintendent, and Otha Belcher, principal of Vicksburg Junior High School.

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Longtime educator Ray Hume announced earlier this year his retirement from the principal’s position at Sherman Avenue Elementary while Dale McClung, district financial director, will step out of his position for the first time in 26 years.

Though the 2013-14 academic year came to a close Thursday for Warren County’s public schools, that doesn’t mean the teachers are folding up shop immediately.

“We are going to have some professional development all next week at Beechwood for Common Core training,” said Marion Hearn, LEAD teacher at Beechwood. “Then we have some training the next week. After that, then we get a break.”

Though it varies from school to school, teachers will have about seven weeks in June and July away from the school before returning for professional development and preparation Aug. 1, a week before students return to classes Aug. 8., the second Friday of the month.

In that week preceding the start of school, Hearn said Beechwood staff would busy setting up classrooms as well as doing more professional development.

“There will be some emphasis on Common Core, but we’ll also be getting back acquainted with our PBIS (positive behavior intervention and supports),” she said.

Teachers new to Beechwood will be paired with a veteran of the school who will mentor the recently arrived educators.

“We usually meet with them the last week in July and partner them with a teacher in the same grade to build that mentoring relationship,” she said.

Barring a change this summer, elementary classes are slated to begin Aug. 8 at 8 a.m., junior high classes will start at 7:32 a.m. and high school classes will begin at 7:40 a.m.