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School officials keeping watch on flu season

Brookhaven schools could see a cut in MAEP funds again if a flu bug bites the district.

The district’s payout from the Mississippi Adequate Education Program for the coming fiscal year is based on the average daily attendance in October and November.

The district lost about $500,000 because of absences caused by a flu outbreak in the late fall.

“Our ADA number for October only was 50 kids less than the number they used in their MAEP calculation last year,” Sheryl Shelby told the Brookhaven Board of Trustees at its monthly meeting Tuesday night. “What that means is, not only am I not going to get the $500,000 back, but I’m going to lose, we’re going to lose more because the ADA number is lower.”

The loss of 50 students equates to about $275,000.

Average daily attendance is a staple equation used to calculate MAEP funding totals. It’s the reason schools insist parents don’t check their children out of school until after lunch, when a student has been present long enough — 63 percent of the day — to meet ADA requirements.

MAEP looks at the average taken from October and November attendance.

“As far as I know, November has not been a terrible month for flu,” Superintendent Ray Carlock said.

Carlock planned to keep watch on the absences and will send a report to board members in the next week.

Consent agenda items were approved 4-0 for several items, including:

• Employee travel for Janee Harrison to travel to Alabama to attend a National Alternative Education Association Regional Symposium in December.

• Baseball team travel to Louisiana to participate in a tournament in the spring.

• Alexander Jr. High choir students to travel with the Brookhaven High School choir to Florida to perform in Walt Disney World in December. BHS was approved previously.

• A $200 donation to the Archaeology Club to be used for a field trip to Mississippi State University.

• A donation from Walmart to BHS for $2,000 to be used as determined for students’ needs.

• Brookhaven School District to pay expenses related to an individual’s vehicle being damaged due to a BSD bus accident

The board will meet next at 6 p.m. Dec. 18 at the district office.