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City schools get update on MSA work

Brookhaven School District officials found out a little bit moreinformation about their involvement with the Mississippi School ofthe Arts Tuesday night during a presentation by executive directorDr. Vicki Bodenhamer.

Bodenhamer updated school board members at their monthly meetingon how construction efforts were progressing and what could beexpected in the upcoming months.

“We are at the point of finishing painting, hanging fixtures,things like that,” she said about the student life center, which isexpected to be completed in the next three weeks. “They’re workingSundays and Saturdays. Paul Jackson (contractor) says we’re goingto finish on time.”

The eight-story student life center will be a central point forstudent activities with a dining area, library, computer room,nurse’s office, counselors’ offices, and residential livingspaces.

Board members were invited to tour the school this weekend withsome of the applicants’ parents.

Applications have been received and reviewed since March.Acceptance letters were sent out Tuesday to most of the 70-75students who will start attending classes Aug. 3.

“We only have a few more applications to look at,” saidBodenhamer, mentioning the longer verification process on homeschool children.

She hopes to have all potential students notified by May 1, andstudents will have to confirm their enrollment within a few days ofnotification.

Bodenhamer said the Brookhaven School District should receiveenrollment information by mid-May concerning the students who willtravel to Brookhaven High School via buses for all academic classesexcept music, theater and arts.

“Your staff is working very well in trying to accommodate thetwo schedules. We appreciate your support,” she said. “We’re proudthat you’re our partner.”

Bodenhamer went on to express her appreciation for the manyefforts that have gone into making the Mississippi School of theArts possible in Brookhaven.

“The city of Brookhaven has been a true haven,” she said. “Ihave never lived in a community that was more supportive of aneducational endeavor.”

Also last night, board vice chairman Dr. Prentiss Smith shareddetails about his trip to San Francisco for the National SchoolBoards Association’s annual convention. He explained some of theinformation he learned about the No Child Left Behind program, ahot topic among public schools.

Smith said he was “confident” about the district’s potential tomeet he strict compliance rules of the program.

The meeting closed with an executive session on a personnelmatter. The next scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m., May 27, atthe district’s central office.