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CPSD athletic fields nearing completion, vaccinated staff receive payout

By Taylor McKay Hathorn


The Clinton Public School District (CPSD) kicked off its December meeting by hearing updates on the athletic improvement projects at Clinton High School. Ryan Hansen with WBA Architects reported that the baseball field was nearing completion, as the turf had been installed, with fencing beginning to go up around the field’s perimeter. The contractors for the project had completed their punch list, though Hansen noted that WBA was slated to do their own punch list at a later date. Two items expected to feature on WBA’s list are the drainage issues behind the dugouts and a few minor, largely cosmetic, issues with the turf itself. Hansen was confident that the pair of issues will be easy to fix and that enough money remains in the contingency fund to handle the repairs.
The construction on the tennis courts is also progressing well, though contractors are currently waiting to complete the surfacing work at the courts, as the final coating requires that the outside temperature maintain 65 degrees for a prolonged period in order for it to dry appropriately.
“We’re not going to jeopardize the quality of the project by doing it too soon,” CPSD Director of Buildings and Grounds Bo Barksdale said of the wait, “but it should be done by February.” The softball field is also slated to be done by the start of the spring fast-pitch season, meaning that all three improvement projects should be finished or mostly finished by the end of the 2021-2022 academic year.
The Board then made its final approval of the $178,425 payout to its vaccinated faculty and staff, with the district offering $325 to each employee who was fully vaccinated (one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or both shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines) in advance of the announced November deadline. Financial Director Libby Callegan remarked that, because PERS funds were not held out of the incentive pay, vaccinated employees took home roughly $300 each. Five hundred forty-nine of CPSD’s six hundred seventy-three employees received the incentive pay, marking nearly 82% of the educators, administrators, and paraprofessionals employed by the school district.
Callegan also recommended that the Board approve the data-sharing agreement between CPSD and BrightBytes. Callegan acknowledged that the agreement, which had enabled the district to purchase devices, had been “hotly contested” by State officials, but the Board’s attorney had reviewed the agreement and had assented that the agreement’s terms protected student confidentiality while still granting data-sharing privileges to BrightBytes. The agreement is slated to end in August 2022.
Reforestation Specialists will also be planting trees on a portion of the district’s 16th Section land at a cost to the district of $95/acre, which Callegan said was the lowest bid received for the project. Board President Derek Holmes asked if the land was presently leased, and Callegan responded that it was currently leased for hunting and fishing. She also noted that other portions of the district’s 16th Section land had been bid out twice unsuccessfully for timber and that the district would try again in the spring.
In his Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Andy Schoggin announced that the district had received a $48,000 grant to update its software and provide a few hardware upgrades for student technology in its broadcast journalism program, which Schoggin praised for its success. Schoggin also noted that Clinton High School’s Advanced Placement biology and chemistry classes would soon be visiting the research lab at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in downtown Jackson.
“This is a great opportunity for our students,” Schoggin enthused. Schoggin also noted that he and Assistant Superintendent Anthony Goins are continuing their weekly meetings with principals and assistant principals.
“It’s incumbent on us to grow our teachers and to keep them in the profession,” Schoggin concluded.

1 Comment

  1. Brenda on January 19, 2022 at 3:15 pm

    It’s a sad day in our history when employees are paid for taking a vaccination and the unvaccinated are discriminated against by receiving no extra pay. I’m very disappointed in this decision.

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