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Notes from the VWSD's Board of Trustees Meeting




Editor’s Note:  We were headed out the door yesterday to attend the August meeting of the Vicksburg Warren School District‘s Board of Trustees when we had some unexpected issues arise.  It’s funny how sometimes a tire will not come off your vehicle until you beat on it with a hammer.  I don’t know if the wheel is too damaged to use again, but I did finally get the tire changed.

I would like to thank Mrs. Shelly Tingle for submitting her report of the board meeting to Vicksburg Daily News.  We look forward to working with Mrs. Tingle – and hopefully many other concerned parents – in the future!  If you are interested in submitting articles about what’s going on at your child’s school or in the school district, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  The e-mail address is
I arrived to the meeting at 5:15 and thought I would be able to get a good seat.  There was a packed house for the meeting and many people wanted the chance to speak their mind! Trainers from St. Dominic’s were recognized as part of a new partnership with VWSD. The schools will continue their longstanding partnership with River Region; this is an additional partnership to help our athletes. Guests of the Board were introduced. Approval of minutes from last meeting. The Board recognized Robyn Lea for the Real People Read initiative.  I thought this was well deserved. Dr. Swinford also announced plans that “Coffee with…” on would soon include some of the VWSD’s turn-around kids. Bob Croisdale from Rotary Club was also acknowledged. He presented a PowerPoint presentation about vocational service activities the Rotary Club lead in Vicksburg’s schools. They provided many hand-on activities promoting vocational experiences with students in our district. Dr. Swinford spoke about activities since the last meeting:  Meet the Gators/Meet the Vikes have already occurred along with Convocation, still working on challenges of traffic at elementary schools!  She is aware of these challenges and assures us that these issues will be solved soon. She thanked local community members for providing school supplies: Warren County Baptist Association, United Way and many others helped out. Chamber of Commerce, Coca-Cola gave out door prizes at Convocation. Dr. Swinford also praised the Red Carpet Bowl organizers. Dale McClung provided the financial report. Board member Jim Sturgis, Jr. requested an explanation of the millage from McClung. The Board voted on the consent agenda. Sturgis requested many items to be taken off. They accepted the consent agenda. Sturgis asked about raises for cooks and others who are not getting raises. They did approve item 4-G but Sturgis opposed it. Bryan Pratt asked about letter jackets for varsity football. He pointed out that there are no jackets for the fine arts department. He asked for bids for fine arts department as well – so the bids are to include letter jackets for all varsity sports and fine arts. Secretary Joe Loviza wanted to point out that the revenue raised by the football programs in the district provide subsistence to the fine-arts and other sports programs.  He continued, arguing the point that the schools should still fund the full purchase of the jackets for footballers, since it’s that program that brings in the majority of the money. They authorized quotes for jackets for all students in varsity sports and fine-arts, not just football. This does NOT mean VWSD will be paying for jackets for all students who letter. They just want to get a quote/bid. Ratification of donations. Sturgis was deemed out of order while addressing the athletic director. He wanted him to read out loud all the names of the coaches.  When the AD read the name of a volunteer coach, Stirgus objected. The VWSD would like to continue the process of having workshops to address policy changes. Items one and two. (this is how they have proceeded this past year. It seems like they are changing old, non applicable policies).  I didn’t get the agenda so I’m not sure what items one and two were. Joe Johnson, Director of Central MS Prevention Services spoke. He wants the use some of the school district’s buses. He introduced his team. Even though many organizations want the same thing, Loviza points out that CMPS and Joe Johnson do so much for the children of Warren County and the VWSD and he feels strongly about the need to continue the partnership.  Pratt made a motion to extend a service agreement between CMPS and VWSD, a way to allow CMPS to utilize the VWSD buses and to ensure that the services to the children and the district continue unabated.  Pratt said that he wants CMPS and VWSD to be like “hand and glove” – working together.  This agreement would make it possible for the school board to explain to other groups why they help CMPS with buses and not others. They approved the buses for CMPS for one year. They also approved a memo of understanding of an exchange of services (or official partnership) between Johnson and VWSD.  Loviza also suggested that the Board look into allowing CMPS the permanent use of some older buses that are not being utilized by the district. Board President Zelmarine Murphy closed the Open Session of the meeting and the Board retired into an Executive (Closed) Session. There were many people who left the meeting frustrated with not having the chance to be heard about the congestion problems and the extended school hours.]]]]> ]]>

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