"Pray for Texas"

Board agrees to buy land, hire administrators.



School District 56 Trustees agreed to buy land adjacent to Eastside Elementary School and extend contracts to fill 16 administrative jobs during their Monday night regular meeting.

The precise location, price, and purpose for the land was not disclosed, pending further negotiations. February is the month when administrative contracts are extended, Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields said, and these involved 16 employees.

The contracts vote was unanimous. The land vote was 5-1, with board member Tammy Stewart voting “no” (trustee Jan Simmons was absent). Stewart also opposed an earlier vote to buy land adjacent to Clinton Middle School.

The board discussed these matters in closed session prior to the open session vote.

In her opening remarks, Trustee Kim Carter-Williams asked everyone attending the meeting in the Clinton High School auditorium to remember Texas. “Remember,” she said, “how fortunate we are to have the heat on.” At least 24 people died last week in an arctic blast in Texas that froze power sources and cut off the electricity needed to pump fresh water; President Biden has declared the state a natural disaster area.

“You take it for granted, you really do,” she said. “These are not red people, these are not blue people. These are people.”

The board heard a presentation from Joanna Woodson Elementary School and presented four Spirit of 56 awards. The board was told District 56 will be up for reaccreditation in the 2021-22 school year, with evaluators meeting virtually with district personnel and board members. This new process is called Cognia; it takes the place of entities like Advanced Ed and SACS (the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). Starting in April, more information will be made available to the board each month.

Upcoming dates for District 56 schools are: Feb. 25 Joanna Woodson Night at Dominos Pizza; March 4 Blood Drive at Clinton High School; and March 18 an “Ask Me Anything” virtual session about middle and high school extra-curricular activities.

Also, board member Keith Richardson thanked all the principals and staffs for the board’s gifts during Board Appreciation Month. “You really made me, as a new board member, feel welcome,” said Trustee Rhonda Gary.

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