JDCSD ended Education Awareness month with a bang! Amazing talent from all our schools were showcased at the Graves Multipurpose building at G.W. Carver Elementary. School and district teacher of the year, as well as parent of the year awards were presented. We hope everyone enjoyed the food and fellowship!
The Jefferson Davis County School District received $499,215 for funding on behalf of seven different schools to improve educational programming in rural communities. These schools were awarded the grant due to barriers that arise from extreme rurality, poverty, and a lack of local resources, according to the USDA press release. Additionally, the schools struggle to provide a high quality, effective education for their students. This opportunity will create new and innovative solutions for meeting today’s educational standards to ensure the students have the tools they need to compete for college placement and in the modern workforce.
“This is a big deal,” said Superintendent Ike Haynes. “We are overjoyed, and especially grateful to Timothy Bryant for his forward-thinking in obtaining this grant. And I want everybody to keep in mind this is grant money that we do not have to pay back.”
The Jeff Davis County School District will use the funding for interactive video conferencing to create a rigorous K-12 program that will prepare students for post-secondary education and job training. Through video connections with partner schools and Pearl River Community College, they will be able to add higher-level courses at the middle and high schools, provide dual enrollment opportunities, and enhance current vocational programs. This project will create career pathways for students to ensure they leave high school with a plan for success in the workforce.
“This award will greatly improve educational and economic opportunities for rural residents,” George said. “Rural communities require technological investments in their communities so they can compete in a global economy. These projects demonstrate Rural Development’s commitment in investing in rural communities.”
This investment is provided through USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant program. It provides funding to rural hospitals, clinics, schools and libraries for equipment and technical assistance for telemedicine and distance learning. Grant recipients must demonstrate that they serve rural America, prove there is an economic need and provide at least 15 percent in matching funds.
“A better place could not have been chosen to allocate these funds,” said George.
Pictured above (l to r) Hazlehurst High School Principal Will Russell, Federal Programs and Curriculum Director for Hazlehurst School District Angela Jones, USDA Rural Development State Director Trina N. George, Jeff Davis County School District Superintendent Ike Haynes, USDA Rural Development Program Director Bettye Oliver, Hazlehurst Technology Direct for Hazlehurst School District Eric Stewart, Hazlehurst School Board Member and Professor Emeritus Alcorn State University Troy Stewart and JDC School District Director of Technology Timothy Bryant.
“These audits are designed to identify and correct any financial and compliance issues found within the school district,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said. “I thank the Jefferson Davis County School District for their cooperation during this audit.”
The audit, performed by Charles L. Shivers, CPA on behalf of the Office of State Auditor, was performed pursuant to Section 37-9-18(4), Mississippi Code Ann. (1972). The audit was performed in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America and the standards applicable to financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.
An audit presentation was given at the school board meeting Monday night. Mr. Shivers explained that there are four main components of an audit: financial statements, assessment of county controls, federal compliance and state compliance. During the reviewing of financial statements, it was determined that proceeds from timber sales were not credited into the Forestry Escrow Fund, but were transferred as soon as the staff was made aware of the finding. Mr. Shivers stated our county got a clean opinion and was in good shape regarding financial statements.
There were no deficiencies reported in assessment of county controls.
The third component, being federal compliance, has a chosen subject matter each year. This year the child nutrition program was audited. They evaluated the controls surrounding this and found a clean compliance.
In the state compliance area there was zero non-compliance.
“Jefferson Davis County should be commended for an outstanding job. Very few school districts have an audit this clean with zero deficiencies in county controls. We just don’t give these (clean audits) away-you earned it”, said Shivers.
“We are proud of our school system in Jefferson Davis County and hope our community knows we are being good stewards with their tax paying dollars”, said Superintendent Ike Haynes.
The full audit can be accessed here: http://www.osa.ms.gov/documents/schools/2013/13sjedac-cpa.pdf.
Mississippi's First Lady, Deborah Bryant, stopped by our J. E. Johnson Elementary as a part of her education initiative "Read Across Mississippi". She read a book to a third grade class by Mississippi Author Bill Wilson entitled "The Fib: A Wordy Tale". Mrs. Bryant enjoyed her visit with us as she continues her goal of reading to students in all 82 counties in Mississippi.
Congratulations from the JDCSD faculty and staff to all our student athletes!
We are proud of all of our student atheletes that signed letters with their prospective schools. These students cannot go on to be successful in college without having proved to the coaches that they can do it in our classrooms! Success in the classroom, and success on the field - if you see them out in the community, give them a pat on the back for being great role models to the next generation of student atheletes!
NATCHEZ, Miss.- State Auditor Stacey Pickering presented the Jefferson Davis School District with the “Achievement in Accountability” certificate at the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents Winter Conference in Natchez on Monday.
The Jefferson Davis School District was recognized for their exemplary performance in capturing and reporting data in: student enrollment, student absentee reporting, truancy reporting, graduation, suspensions, historical postings, teacher endorsements, textbook distribution, property internal controls, vehicle marking, and school safety.
“I would like to congratulate the Jefferson Davis School District and their personnel,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said. “Our reviews are designed to identify strengths and areas that need improvements and the Jefferson Davis School District serves as a model for all the districts we reviewed last year.”
The State Auditor’s Office is tasked with reviewing the accuracy and reliability of student and personnel information submitted by school districts to the Mississippi Department of Education through the Mississippi Student Information System (MSIS) in order to determine funding for local school districts.
During the 2012-2013 school year, the Performance Audit Division conducted audits at 46 school districts across Mississippi. Over a three-year period, they will perform these reviews at every school district in the state.
The Jefferson Davis School District was one of eight school districts to receive the award.
Superintendent Haynes recognized the Bassfield High Football team at last night's board meeting. The BHS Yellowjackets are the 2A State Champions, and will have several players earning college scholarships to play at the next level.
You can now have some control over what calls, e-mails, and texts you receive from Blackboard Connect. Using our Blackboard Connect Portal, you can create an account and associate it with your child in order to "opt-in" to any messages.
Editor Prentiss Headlight
Superintendent Ike Haynes feels misunderstood when it comes to his proposed plans for consolidating the public schools in Jeff Davis County.
At a special-called meeting of the School Board of Directors on Thursday, Haynes presented an architectural plan of a feasible consolidation alternative.
“I’ve heard that people are saying we can’t spend $60 million on new schools when our tax base is only $80 million,” said Haynes. “That dollar amount was if we build all new schools for K-12, which is not the plan.”
In March 2012, the consulting firm, Volkert, Inc. presented their finding from reviewing building conditions for the five campuses of the Jeff Davis County school system. Their estimation to build all new educational and sports facilities for all students would cost in the range of $60 million.
“I want the facts known,” said Haynes, “We will make the buildings currently on high school campuses K-8 sites and move high school students to a new school built in Carson.”
In the map below which depicts the area in Carson around the current Career Center, the district currently owns the land below the “Existing Property Line” and has plans to purchase the land located above that line and across Vo-Tech Road.
Haynes estimates the cost of building only the most necessary buildings for high school students would cost approximately $23 million. “We obviously won’t worry about a football field right away,” said Haynes.