RIPLEY • The South Tippah School Board held their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Attorney Price Elliott chaired the meeting until officers could be elected for the year. David Duncan was elected Chairman, Wayne Jumper Vice Chairman and Kerry Cockrell Secretary. Also present were members Tim Clark and Arnold Witt. The board later approved hiring Elliott for another year.

The board recognized Jennifer Huddleston as Ripley High School teacher of the year. Huddleston was absent for the last meeting when other teacher recognitions were made. Huddleston was presented a certificate by Superintendent Tony Elliott.

Superintendent Elliott gave an update on the number of COVID cases and quarantines in the district. The district intends to resume a normal class schedule the week of Jan. 19. The board then passed a motion to extend the availability of COVID quarantine days through Wednesday, March 31 for those employees who have not used them. The provision under the CARES Act originally expired Dec. 31, 2020. Superintendent Elliott also discussed a survey given to teachers concerning the district’s response to COVID. An initial survey was given in August and a follow up in October.

Assistant Superintendent Twila Goolsby discussed the results of the district’s common assessments given to lower grades at each school. Common assessments were given at the beginning of the year and the middle of the year to students in kindergarten through third grade. Goolsby indicated the district was pleased with the performance and growth in the district given the challenges associated with the pandemic.

Superintendent Elliott discussed with board members some possible changes with the district’s pre-kindergarten program as a result of new mandates by the department of education. There were no actions taken but there could be changes with staff requirements and associated costs with the program as new requirements are formed at the state level. Elliott will keep the board updated as new information is disseminated

The board appointed Arnold Witt to serve as the district’s representative to the Mississippi School Board Association. The board then entered executive session to discuss personnel matters.

The next meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 9 at 5:15 p.m.

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