VWSD Trustees receive updates on construction, reading programs and finances

Published 5:43 pm Friday, October 28, 2022

The Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees held its monthly meeting on Thursday. The board was given updates on implemented curriculums, the construction of Warren Central High School and the financial status of the district.

In the ‘general comments’ portion of the meeting, Dr. Phatasis O’Harrol, Director for the Curriculum and Instruction Team for VWSD, gave updates on two initiatives recently adopted by the district. The first was a comprehensive reading program that focuses on young readers.

“I am very ecstatic to announce that for the first time, some…kindergartners who probably would not have been reading by first grade (without the program) will be reading by December,” O’Harrol said. “And that is an awesome task.”

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The second initiative O’Harrol highlighted was securing the purchase of an ACT curriculum for 9th through 12th-grade students from Mastery Prep, an educational materials company.

“What this curriculum will allow us to do is (have teachers) be able to administer tests to our ninth graders, (and) will be able to track their progress,” she said. “Teachers will be able to adjust their instruction so that our end goal can be high performance on the ACT.”

After O’Harrol spoke, Jason Stewart of Bailey Program Management, LLC, gave updates to trustees on a few construction and maintenance projects in the District. Construction on Warren Central High School has been experiencing delays over the past year. Major improvements currently being built at WCHS are a gymnasium and library expansion as well as an agora, which is a large, open entrance space.

“In summary, (the work on WCHS) is slowly progressing. We’ve got the bleachers, steel, and concrete for the gym and library expansion. We’ve got some of the low roof steel and a little bit of ductwork starting to progress there,” Stewart said. “They are making a little bit of progress (on the agora). Again, not near as fast as we would like, but they are progressing in that area.”

Director of Financial Services for VWSD, Cassandra Lewis, also addressed the board and gave a summary of the district’s financial status. She said that as of September, the estimated District fund balance is $22,047,498.30.

Lewis also clarified the expected status of that fund for the rest of the year.

“You’ll see that (number) continue to potentially go down until December,” she said. “But in January, you’ll see it increase when we get our ad valorem revenues.”

Lewis also stated that MAEP appropriations for September are at $2,353,450, and the August revenue from Casino taxes for the district is $59,243.45

The next VWSD School Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 24. For a calendar of board meetings and documents, you can visit vwsd.org/domain/24