By STEVEN NALLEY
The Starkville School District will hold two information sessions on its use of Title I funds Monday at noon and 6 p.m. in Room 14 of the Greensboro Center, giving Armstrong Middle School parents the chance to learn more about how the school allocates federal money to help children in poverty.
SSD Assistant Superintendent Toriano Holloway will give the presentations, and he said they will be the first of several. All SSD schools are required to have presentations of their own, he said, but so far, only AMS’s presentations is scheduled.
“Title I is a federal service schools receive when they have a certain percentage of students in poverty,” Holloway said. “We receive three different types of title funds. Title I funds are spent in the schools to purchase educational material (and) educational software. Title II funds are used for professional development. Title VI is rural education, so we’ve used some of our Title VI funds to purchase maintenance software for the buses. We’ve also gotten some professional development out of Title VI.”
Holloway said the meeting’s purpose is not only to inform parents about the amount of Title I money each school receives, but to involve them in deciding how the money is spent. Federal regulations require SSD to have parents on the committees that decide how to spend Title I funds, he said, and they also require the district to conduct parent surveys. He said parents also need to be aware of changes to Title I programs in Mississippi.
“With us being classified as a Focus School under the new flexibility waiver that Mississippi is under for No Child Left Behind,” Holloway said, “10 percent of (Title I) funds have to be allocated toward helping our lowest-achieving students raise their scores.”
Holloway said he hopes to see several parents at the presentation, because they have much to gain from it. Refreshments will also be served at the presentation.
“I think (parents will) get a working knowledge of how the funds are used,” Holloway said. “The better they understand what’s going on at the schools, the more involved they’ll be. Parental involvement is important for school achievement.”