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Picayune School Board hears from three student groups

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Picayune School Board of Trustees, the meeting started with board being treated to a short concert consisting of three songs by members of the Picayune High School Chorus led by Choral Director, Mr. John Peter Ford.

The board also heard from students from West Side Elementary’s Gifted Program under the direction of their teacher, Alicia Verweij. The students gave a detailed description of how they felt an outdoor classroom would benefit their school and their decision to write a grant in hopes of getting the funding to make the classroom a reality for their school.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Superintendent Dean Shaw told the students “maybe we can have a school board meeting one day at the outdoor classroom.”

Ms. Verweij stated how proud she was of her students and their research during this project. The school will find out in February if they will be awarded funding for their grant submission.

Verweij gave the board an update on the STEM program at the school and the selection process for students to be in the program. She also gave details on the progress being made by the students in working with electrical circuity and digital programming in relation to robots and its relation to Newton’s Law of Motion using three kits to build machines. Next, the group will move on to more complex work and research using a robot called the Recon Rover which is more old school approach according Verweij. Lastly, the students will build a laptop computer complete with a WI-FI connection.

Maureen Pollitz addressed the board on behalf of Nicholson Elementary and informed the board that the school had been selected a state finalist for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest for the 4th year in a row. Ms. Pollitz described the school’s project which will focus on safety.

“As you know, accidents kind of affect everybody in our community, especially after our Friday snow day, so the class will do an in-depth study on interstate fatalities and accidents. They will focus on the intersection of I-12 and I-59 because that affects many people, “ Pollitz told the board.

Pollitz said the focus will be on how 18 wheelers factor in accidents on interstate highways. The students will do a study on electrical stabilization mechanisms to see if that may be helpful for 18 wheelers with their load shifts.

At the end of the meeting, the board took action to approve a change to have board meetings once per month on the first Tuesday of each month at 5:30pm beginning in January, 2018. The next meeting will be on January 9th.


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