SOCSD Board takes action on 16th Section, hears reports

SOCSD Board member Debra Prince, Board Attorney John Hill and Superintendent Eddie Peasant discuss a 16th Section item at the school board meting Thursday night. (Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)
Staff Writer

The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District will continue to move forward with a 16th section transition following its meeting Thursday night.

The board voted 4-0 with Board Vice President Lee Brand Jr. absent to allow Superintendent Eddie Peasant to execute a warranty deed on the 16th Section land, which the district owns and leases, following the release of the property owner from his lease. The district will also exercise option to purchase lieu land, or land given in lieu of previously settled 16th Section Land from the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority, and amend the agricultural lease with the owner to include the lieu land in his lease.

This will complete the district’s land swap agreement for the transformer site for the industrial park.

Peasant also gave a short updated on the Partnership school during his report.

“We have done the pre-construction meeting for the Partnership School,” Peasant said. “Everything’s been approved and signed off on, so as soon as the weather will allow them, West Brothers will move forward with their construction on it.”

The 16th Section vote was the sole action item discussed at the meeting, with all others being taken in one motion under the consent agenda and financial items, respectively. The bulk of the meeting was devoted to presentations from Millsaps Career and Technology Center, East Alternative School and the district’s student support services department.

Millsaps director Lenora Hogan gave an update on some of the school’s new programs and successes. She said the school had gotten a grant from the Golden Triangle Development LINK for administering the WorkKeys test to students, with resources also being devoted to giving students training matching with programs at East Mississippi Community College and the needs of local industries.

”We had 15 students to score gold, 40 students to score silver and we had six bronze,” Hogan said.

East Alternative School Principal Watress Harris explained the goals the alternative school lays out for all his students. He also said he hopes to decrease discipline referrals by 50 percent, decrease expulsion by 30 percent and decrease repeaters by 20 percent.

Harris also said the alternative school was benefiting from a transition specialist on the staff.

Student support services Director Julie Jones also gave an overview of her department’s programs, including gifted and special education.