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PRC school district opens offices and plans for summer education

Pearl River County School District’s Board of Trustees had its regularly scheduled meeting May 14 and discussed the next steps for the district during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As has been the case during the pandemic, only necessary personnel were in attendance for the meeting while those who needed to give reports were brought in using the Zoom app to give their presentations virtually.

Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said district offices have been reopened and will be available to the public from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. while using social distancing practices.

The end of the school year for the district is Friday, May 22, so virtual learning will continue until that point.

However, Lumpkin said there will be more virtual learning resources and additional instructional packets available for those who want to continue with their education over the summer.

Lumpkin said those resources will be available soon and will have material to keep students learning during the summer months.

It was also announced that the district’s feeding program will end May 21.

The district understands its seniors want to have a traditional graduation ceremony, and Lumpkin said the district is still committed to making that happen.

There is uncertainty as to when large gatherings will be allowed again, so no official date has been set for the ceremony.

“We’ll set that date once we’ve been instructed we can gather in large assemblies (again),” Lumpkin said.

As another way to try and recognize the district’s seniors there will be a vehicle parade on May 22 at 7 p.m., which is when the original graduation ceremony had been set to take place.

Community members are encouraged to gather along the route, while practicing social distancing. The route will start at the elementary campus in McNeill, then head to the middle school campus before ending at the high school to support the graduating class of 2020 as graduating seniors drive by.

High School Principal Dr. Stacy Baudoin said this parade will also serve as an opportunity to distribute caps and gowns, stoles, yearbooks and other items the seniors would’ve received had the year not been derailed by the pandemic.

In other business, the Board approved a motion to amend all hourly pay scales by 1.5 times the current rate for all staff who worked during the Board approved administrative leave due to the COVID-19 emergency declaration effective April 17, 2020 through May 8, 2020. All hours worked must be deemed essential and approved by the Superintendent prior to work performed to apply for that rate.

Following the approval of the consent agenda and policy changes the Board moved into executive session to discuss a student matter.

The next regularly scheduled Board meeting will take place June 11, 2020.