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Reports of progress, successes at Oktibbeha schools


Bonnie Coblentz



Principals of the four schools in Oktibbeha County School District gave school board members reports of progress, successes, and wishes and needs for the coming years. 


The reports were made at Monday night''s board meeting and were listed as state of the school reports. 


Andrea Pastchal-Temple, principal of West Oktibbeha Elementary, said the 213-student school has been working to increase parental involvement. They also have 15 new clubs and organizations for students in the K-6 grade school. 


"Twice a month we release students at 2:25 to go to these activities," Temple said. "We''re excited to have this at an elementary school. You often have this at high school, but rarely at elementary school." 


She gave the board a wish-list of repairs needed around the school. 


"We''re working hard on student achievement, as we want our facilities to look the best, too," Temple said. 


Yolanda Dixon-Magee, principal of East Oktibbeha Elementary, said the school improvement plan at this 361-student school is now a working plan. 


"We use it when working on student achievement on a daily basis," Magee said. 


She said students in her school showed "significant growth" between taking practice tests 2 and 3 of the Mississippi Curriculum Test preparations. 


She said the school focuses on the positives and is working on increasing parental involvement until 100 percent are active with the school. 


Broderwick Cochran, principal of East Oktibbeha High, listed several scholarships and honors students at his grades 7-12 school have received. 


"We spend a lot of time focused on the dropout rate, but we do have some students who are going off and doing real well," Cochran said of his seniors. 


His wish list included some technology items for teachers, and he said better control on buses is needed to cut back on eating and cell phone use. 


He praised incentives as a way to encourage students to perform well on testing. 


"Motivation is a big part of our testing. We need teacher motivation, too," he said. 


Leonardo Thompson, principal of West Oktibbeha High, listed several activities and programs brought into the school as accomplishments for the past year. Among these were a performance by the U.S. Navy band, a touring play brought to the school and seniors visiting West Elementary to help out with an activity there. 


He spoke well of the school''s average daily attendance, saying "three months in a row we had the highest ADA." 


Concession stands at the football field, basketball goals and repairs to the gym floor were among the needs he listed for his school.




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