JACKSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
KEY COMMUNICATOR
DECEMBER 2016

SPOTLIGHT

Jackson Public Schools recognized 16 schools for achieving successful ratings of A, B, and C during a reception and awards ceremony held December 19 in the School Board Meeting Room. Each principal was recognized and received an award to display in their school's trophy case.

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The Mississippi Department of Education recognized Baker Elementary and Davis IB Elementary schools in a special ceremony. Baker Elementary achieved the highest growth in reading statewide among the lowest 25 percent of elementary students, and Davis IB achieved the highest reading proficiency among elementary students in the state. 
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FEATURED

The Mississippi State Board of Education voted to approve the corrective action plan for JPS during a regular meeting held Thursday, December 15, 2016. The revised plan includes more specifics, including clearly defined timelines for taking action to resolve the issues uncovered during MDE audits. As the District carries out the approved plan, the Mississippi Department of Education will continue to monitor its progress.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS
Winter Break

All JPS schools and offices will be closed   December 23, 2016 , through   January 5, 2017 , for Winter Break.Teachers and employees return   January 6 , and students return   January 9 . >>  
Pepsi/JPS Holiday Basketball Tournament

The 2016 Pepsi/JPS Basketball Tournament will be held on  December 26, 27, and 28
at Lanier, Murrah, and Forest Hill High Schools. The first tipoffs on day one are at 1 p.m. at Lanier and Murrah. >> 
FAFSA Days at JPS High Schools

JPS high school seniors are encouraged to see their school counselors about scheduling an appointment for FREE assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, the first step to receiving money for college.

Upcoming FAFSA days at JPS high schools: 
  • Callaway High School - January 10 & February 15
  • Forest Hill High School - February 1
  • Jim Hill High School - February 14
  • Lanier High School - February 22
  • Murrah High School - February 10
  • Provine High School - March 3
  • Wingfield High School - February 7
SAVE THE DATE: Students may also call Get2College Center for a Saturday appointment on January 28 at (601) 321-5533. >> 
GET WEATHER ALERTS
The recent cold snap has made us weather aware, and we use SchoolWay as one way to notify our community of weather related announcements. If you have not had a chance to download the free app from the app store, do it today! You will receive instant push notifications from our school. For more information, go to myschoolway.com/JPS.
CONGRATULATIONS
Scholars of the Week are recognized for leadership, positive attitudes, exemplary behavior, and scholarship. The honorees for December 8, 2016, were Meagan Young, George Elementary; Myesha Coleman, Whitten Middle; and Kayla Pippins, Callaway High. 
In the 2015-2016 school year, Jackson Public Schools had 12 seventh-grade scholars who qualified for state-level recognition based on their ACT sub-scores on three or more parts of the ACT. Many of them achieved ACT scores at or above the state average of 19, and at least two students scored at or above the national average of 21.   
Rowan educator Christy Khurana has been selected as a conference presenter at the National Art Education Association Convention to be held in March 2017, in New York City. Khurana's presentation Art Colors The World: Creating Global Connections with Art was accepted for inclusion in the program after a highly-competitive selection process.  
Students from the Power APAC High School Theatre Department competed in the Southern Mississippi Drama Festival in December. Their performance of "The Colored Museum" won the Peer Choice Award and the Distinguished Play Award, and a spot in the Mississippi Theatre Association competition to be held in January.  
Isable Elementary School held a "B" Outstanding parade and pep rally to celebrate its rise to a B rating for the 2015-2016 school year. Participating in the fanfare were the marching bands, cheerleaders, and royal courts representing their feeder pattern partner schools Jim Hill High and Blackburn Middle.  
Brown Elementary scholars, parents, staff and community partners celebrated academic performance gains with a parade around the neighborhood. The release of the District's 2015-2016 Mississippi Assessment Program Accountability results showed the school increased two letter grades to a B. 
Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex has been designated a 2016-2018 Exemplary School by Arts Schools Network, the nation's largest professional membership organization of specialized arts schools. The award is for a school's commitment to achieving excellence in arts programs. 
Isable Elementary Principal Dr. Micca Knox has been nominated for the 2016-2017 national LifeChanger of the Year Award. Dr. Knox  led the school from an F to a B rating in just three years. She began her  career in as a teacher before moving up the ranks to building administrator. 
Cadet Lt. Col. Victoria Hawkins of Jim Hill High School is a recipient of the prestigious Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award for Achievement. The award is presented annually to the top JROTC cadets across the nation who excel in academics, leadership and community service. Only 28 army cadets out of 500,000 receive the award. 
Cohen Siwisa and Joshua Bennett of Davis Elementary and Victoria Akins Bailey APAC emerged as first place winners for their division in the 2016 JPS Open Doors Scrabble Tournament. Nearly 100 students in grades 4-6 used their spelling and word knowledge during the daylong competition.
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ATHLETICS
Joseph Perkins, a Murrah High School freshman and standout defensive back for the Mustangs football team, will play in two elite bowl games in January 2017, the Football University Freshman All-American Bowl and the USA Football International Bowl VIII. Perkins is the only player from Mississippi playing in both games this year. 
Brown Bottling presented a donation of $7,000 to the JPS Athletics Department to support the upcoming Pepsi/JPS Basketball Tournament. Held during the Christmas break for schools, the tournament draws teams from all seven JPS high schools and surrounding areas.  
WJMI Circle B Hardwood Heroes of the Week

November 21

Murrah High School's Adam Wallace was nominated the WJMI Circle B Hardwood Hero of the Week for November 21. Wallace had 19 points, 13 rebounds and 2 steals in 78-64 win over Holmes County Central. Wallace is a 6'5" senior power forward on the Mustangs boys' basketball team.

November 28

Callaway High School's Tanarrio Ransburgh is the WJMI Circle B Hardwood Hero of the Week nominee for November 28. He scored 23 points and had 5 rebounds and 2 assists in a win over Columbus High School. Ransburg is a 6'2" guard on the Chargers boys basketball team.
 
December 5

Wingfield High School's LaAndre Thomas is the WJMI Circle B Hardwood Hero of the Week nominee for December 5. He scored 28 points and had 6 rebounds, 7 steals and 2 assists in a 74-52 win over Magee High School. Thomas is a 6'2" senior guard on the Falcons boys basketball team.

December 12

Lanier High School's Earl Smith is the WJMI Circle B Hardwood Hero of the Week nominee for December 12. He led Lanier to a 47-37 win over Murrah High School with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Smith is a 6'3" sophomore guard on the Bulldogs boys basketball team.

December 19

Callaway High School's Kassim Nicholson is the WJMI Circle B Hardwood Hero of the Week nominee for December 19. He had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in a win over Forest Hill High School. Nicholson is a 6'7" senior forward on the Chargers boys basketball team.

Each week, Circle B will donate $120 in the name of each nominee to the WJMI Circle B Foods JPS High School basketball fund. At the end of the basketball season, one nominated player will receive $1,800 for their high school basketball program.
 
MDE CELEBRATION OF EXCELLENCE FOR BAKER & DAVIS


WHAT'S HAPPENING
The United Healthcare Community Plan of Mississippi announced the launch of its Kicks for Kids initiative at Kirksey Middle School on December 7, 2016. The initiative rewards members ages 6-16 who attend free wellness visits to the doctor with a $70 Nike gift card to purchase a new pair of athletic footwear.
Spann Elementary took part in the 2015-2016 READ Together program, a nationwide initiative conducted by the Kids Need to Read organization. Spann received books, including some that were bilingual, reading logs, inspirational posters, and pledges to improve reading proficiency among the youngest students at the school.
Rose Wright portrayed Fannie Lou Hamer as part of a historic re-enactment at the Old Capitol Museum for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History's annual Present Meets Past production. The event drew over 300 participants who engaged in the interactive exhibits with the actors portraying Mississippi historians .