10 Things to Know for the 2019-2020 School Year

Alan Hamilton, TPSD Campus Enforcement and Command Center Coordinator, and Louis Meadows, TPSD School Saftey Officer, zoom in on the Tupelo High School football field as they monitor all the schools in the Tupelo district from the Tupelo Public School Disctict Command Center at Filmore Center in Tupelo.

By Cristina Carreon 

  1. Lee County School District has hired eight individuals to serve on the district security team this year and a new safety coordinator to oversee that new team, which means every school in the district will now have a security officer on campus. Tupelo Public School District also hired three new school resource officers this year, increasing its security team to nine officers.
  1. Tupelo Public School District will launch a pilot program introducing biomedical science and computer science concepts in third- through fifth-grade gifted classes at Lawhon, Lawndale, Pierce Street and Rankin elementary schools in August. Also in the northeast, Pontotoc City Schools will offer coding to Kindergarteners through the program and computer science to fourth graders at Pontotoc and D.T. Cox Elementary Schools.
  1. The Mississippi Department of Education received grants in May to create or enhance STEM programs in schools through tech upgrades or educator training for grades Kindergarten through eighth. Eleven of the 15 schools or districts are located in the northeast region. 
  1. Because the GED program has been dropped from the accountability model, Tupelo Public School District will no longer offer a GED program at the high school. The district recommends students interested in pursuing a GED to reach out to The Family Resource Center or Itawamba College.
  1. Two new career pathway programs have been implemented and a new internship has been created with Century Construction through Lee County School District’s Career and Technical program. The next goal of the school board is to begin looking into opening a Career and Technical Center.
  1. Lee County School District will offer volleyball as a new sport in every high school within the district, to include Mooreville, Saltillo and Shannon high schools.
  1. Northeast Mississippi Community College will begin offering a news writing and reporting course in the fall that will focus on news and feature writing, opinions and AP style. The class will incorporate iPads into lectures and field work and students will learn how to do field videos, utilize social media and create blogs. NEMCC will become the fourth community college in the state to offer it — Holmes, Hinds and Northwest have offered it before.
  1. The new University of Mississippi South Campus Recreation Facility and Transportation Hub, located off of Whirlpool Trails, is set to open Aug. 28 and will feature 121,000 square feet of space that will be dedicated to health and wellness and will house the William Magee Center for Wellness Education.
  1. Mississippi State University’s New Maroon Camp has become increasingly popular in recent years and is a way for students to learn about MSU history and traditions, meet other students, learn about the campus and learn how to get involved. This year’s camp runs from Aug. 11 – 17.
  1. Through grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Mississippi will develop the first ever state-run teacher residency program in the United States, which will work to recruit and retain African American male teachers and also help teachers pursue national board certification. Thirty-five teaching residents will be trained in the 2019-20 school year.
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