Tupelo Public Schools Asks For Public Input On Ways To Improve School District

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI)- Excellence is tradition.

It’s a common theme around the Tupelo Public School District, and now it’s looking for ways to continue growing as an innovative district.

“We are really blessed as a district to have educators who care deeply about all students, who hold high expectations, and who want to make sure that kids meet their full potential,” said Stewart McMillan, the Innovation Program Facilitator for TPSD.

Since September, the district received feedback from nearly 900 hundred people who have an interest in seeing the district continue to grow.

TPSD offered a survey and held more than a dozen meetings allowing everyone to give their input.

Throughout the process, the district wanted to find out what the community viewed as the greatest need for the school district.

“The top greatest need is achievement gap closure, and specifically looking at subgroups of students, at students in poverty, at special education students, at English learners, and making sure they all have the support that they need to meet their fullest potential.”

McMillan said other big needs from community include teacher staffing, with an increased emphasis on staff diversity, along with meeting the social emotional needs of students.

“We know that students come into our doors and they have a variety of needs above and beyond just the academic needs that they bring into the classroom,” McMillan explained. “Having wrap around services, making sure our staff has learned about trauma informed care and how to deal with students who have adverse childhood experiences, so we can best make sure that first and for most kids feel safe, protected, and taken care of so that they can learn to the best of their ability.”

District leaders expressed they value the feedback they receive from steakholders in the community which is why they’re already working on ways to make these improvements.

“Through this process we’ve been able to capture feedback from a variety of stakeholders,” said McMillan. “We hope that having this meeting as well as sharing the PowerPoint and information on our website that we’re really showing we value the feedback of the community, we’re listening, and we’re going to work to make positive changes based on that feedback.”

TPSD is holding a community meeting Tuesday evening at 5:30 at the Tupelo Middle School Civic Auditorium.

During the meeting, the all of the findings from the meetings and survey will be presented, and community members will also have the chance to give feedback and talk with district leaders about the results.

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