You may have heard the news that Grenada School District is seeking approval from the Mississippi Department of Education to restructure our elementary schools. The Pre-K to 3rd grade school and the 4th to 5th grade school — commonly referred to as Grenada Upper Elementary — will now be known simply as Grenada Elementary School.
To help distinguish the two, we're referring to each building by their roof color. "Red Top" is where we house Pre-K through third grade, while "Green Top" is fourth and fifth grade.
In many ways, the elementary schools at Grenada have always been one. They're two buildings in the same complex with a shared mission — to provide the best fundamental learning experience for the children of Grenada County.
By joining our resources and sharing expertise between the two schools, Grenada Elementary can now draw on the strengths of both schools with the goal of elevating our entire elementary program.
Recently in this space, I've written how our Pre-K and early grades at Grenada Elementary exemplify this district's mission of innovation. The teachers and administrators at the Green Top demonstrate their own brand of excellence and innovation through a variety of stand-out programs.
Among the highlights is the Discovery Lab, which provides a hands-on learning experience similar to the Kidzeum at the Red Top. In the Discovery Lab, fourth and fifth grade students apply their classroom science lessons in a laboratory setting, conducting experiments and simulations.
With the recent implementation of Project Lead the Way curriculum — including a recent unit on how infections are spread — the Discovery Lab will continue to evolve and introduce students to higher-level science.
Our gifted program, LEAP, is flourishing thanks to activities like Future Problem Solving teams, spearheaded by Frankie Fortier. Students confront large-scale, real-world problems and use critical-thinking procedures to come up with solutions. Our teams have competed with other schools and performed so well they were invited to the international competition in Minnesota last summer. This curriculum challenges our students to think big and instills leadership qualities that place them ahead of the curve.
Likewise, Mrs. Tharpe has moved to the front of the pack in elevating the school's physical education to a fitness-based curriculum that promotes healthy lifestyles, regular exercise, and team-building activities.
Her efforts to revamp the P.E. program have highlighted the correlation between physical fitness and mental acuity and resulted in the school being named "Healthiest School in Mississippi" by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi.
Finally, the school is launching its
first-ever book club for fourth and fifth
graders that will enhance the students'
understanding and enjoyment of reading.
We look forward to seeing how these
innovative strategies cross-pollinate
when we open the lines of communications
between teachers at both schools
who are working hard to enrich study at
With an easier transition to upper
grades, we believe our students will
be more successful academically and
socially, and they'll be better prepared for
middle and high school.
Grenada School District prides itself
on offering an education that lasts not
from one grade to the next, or even one
school to the next, but for a student's
entire journey, from Pre-K to 12th grade.
And the journey begins right here … at
Grenada Elementary School.
GES Kidzeum Finishes Pioneer Exhibit
Grenada Elementary School's Kidzeum ended its "Pioneer Days" exhibit with Pioneer Week, Sept. 25-29. Kindergarten students Averi Hood (left) and Jordin Knox tested out saddles and other horse-riding and grooming equipment brought by horse farriers Tasha Lemley and Lakela Lancaster. Members of the community donated their time and visited the Kidzeum to teach students about pioneer-era skills such as storytelling, beekeeping, juggling, critter-trapping, and banjo-picking.
Later this month, the Kidzeum unveils its next exhibit, an installment of their annual Christmas Around the World series. This year, they focus on Australia. The anticipated Grandparents' Day open house will be held December 15.
Alumni Spotlight - Shay Harris
By Jamie Kornegay
"When you're young, you want to be some of everything," says Grenada High School graduate Shay Harris (Class of 1988), who dreamed of being a singer and teacher among other things. "Thankfully, my mom told me I could do all those things. Whatever I wanted."
Her mother, Shirley Harris, owns Shirley's Place, one of the oldest black-
owned businesses in Grenada, and her father is James Harris. She credits them
with making the sacrifices which allowed her to pursue a variety of after-school activities — from cheerleading to beauty pageants to singing with Visions choir — in place of working a part-time job.
"For me, extracurricular activities were just as important as work because it taught me to be part of team," Harris says. "These activities teach young people how to be accountable to others and to put others ahead of yourself. There's something to be said for making other people shine."
Harris remains grateful for two teachers who saw promise in her writing.
English teacher Mary Ann Mahan always commended her journal entries. "I was just expressing myself, but she convinced me to take it seriously," Harris says.
Edna Washington — now Edna Williams, an inclusion teacher at Grenada Elementary — was a student teacher when she met Shay in middle school. Even then, said Williams, she was exceptional and driven.
Harris recalls one Mrs. Williams' most memorable and useful pieces of advice: "You can't soar with the eagles if you land with the turkeys."
"She was telling me to watch the company I keep," Harris says.
Harris took the advice and focused her sights on television news.
During the 1980s, it was rare to see an African-American woman news anchor until Claudia Barr began at WHBQ-TV in Memphis. Shay was inspired and saw the possibility of a career in broadcasting.
She studied broadcast journalism at the University of Mississippi and received several offers after graduation. Harris took the best offer with the Delta station WABG in Greenville, and she moved along a determined career path, working at stations in Texas, Florida, and Ohio.
"Throughout my career, I always felt that Christ was pulling me to places with strong church communities, and I continued to be very active and passionate about the ministry wherever I lived," Harris says.
She developed her vocal talent and recorded a single, "Dear Jesus," that was picked up in 30 major markets. "God will guide you, but you have to watch and follow," she says. "Parents are important too. They must pay attention and help guide their kids in the way they're naturally wired."
Harris is currently a freelance anchor in Jackson and continues to perform music. She's also writing an inspirational book about the simplicity of salvation. "I'm open to whatever God has for me next," she says. "I want to make sure the rest of my life is the best of my life."
In times of doubt and difficulty, she turns to Psalm 91, a scripture on protection that reads like a song.
Another piece of advice that her mother used to say: "I can, you can, and together, we all can."
And naturally, Shay Harris has developed her own advice for current students at Grenada High School. "Stay focused," she says. "Discern what you need from what you want."
She adds, "And remember, there is so much virtue in patience. Anything worth having has to be worked for and earned."
GCTC Health Science Class Visits UMMC
School of Medicine and Blair E. Batson Hospital
GCTC health science students (front l to r) Aailyah Elliott, Ashanti Beckum, Amber Guinn, McCasland Ferguson, Haley Shaw, Memory Brown, Quintayjah Avery, Dominque McClain, Rykela Lee, (back l to r) Chanteria Wrenn, Kennesha Brock, Chelsaye Wiggins, Morgan Malone, Katlin Federick, Janiya Berry, Carneshia Tillman, and Kenny Wiley toured the new University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Medicine.
By Meg Newcomb
GCTC Student Services
The Grenada Career and Technical Center Health Science classes traveled to Jackson, Mississippi, to tour the new University of Mississippi Medical Center's School of Medicine and Blair E. Batson Hospital on September 22, 2017.
The tour began with a walk through the new School of Medicine to the old anatomy lab. One instructor gave the students hands-on experience by allowing them each to hold cadaver samples of a skull, brain, and spinal cord. Students stopped at the helipad, to see the helicopter takes off and lands with patients on the roof of the hospital. The last stop at the School of Medicine was the simulation lab. The students were shown
a simulation with a patient, "Stan," who was having a heart attack. The students administered medicine and shocked his heart back into rhythm. Also in the simulation lab they were taught how to insert a trach tube and helped a person who was not breathing.
Finally, they were shown the new simulation lab, which will open soon with all new virtual reality simulators, child-birth simulators, and a fully simulated operating room.
After lunch, the students toured the emergency department at Blair E. Batson Hospital, where children up to age 16 are treated. The students saw one of the trauma rooms they use to receive new patients. The Health Science students thoroughly enjoyed the day spent at UMMC and received first-hand experience of what it is like to be a medical student.
Career Clusters is a program designed to guide students along their path of study in high school and college, preparing them for the career of their dreams. Each cluster represents a major sector of the U.S. job market, and within each cluster, a specialized pathway helps focus knowledge and skills.
Each month we inspect one of the 16 Career Clusters, and this month we look at Information Technology.
Earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics identified math and computer-related jobs as the second-fasting growing field in the nation. As our society relies increasingly on digital communication and technology, companies will continue to seek experts to design, develop, and manage different types of software and hardware.
Though this field requires a solid foundation in math and science as well as strong technical skills, careers in information technology exist in virtually every part of the economy.
The four pathways that lead to specific careers in Information Technology include:
Successful organizations rely on efficient technological infrastructure, which allows users to communicate and share information. People with expertise in designing, installing, maintaining, and managing computer networks are in high demand by organizations of all types. For example, a student with proficiency in computing and an interest in health and medicine could work in a medical facility, creating and maintaining the network that enables multiple doctors to view the same patient's X-rays in real time to determine the diagnosis and best treatment. Network professionals often specialize in specific areas of an organization's infrastructure, such as computer security and data storage.
Information Support and Services
Most modern companies rely on successful IT deployment to keep their organization's technological resources in top shape. Students entering this pathway will use their computing expertise to provide technical assistance to employees, implement systems and software, maintain and repair systems, and create technical documentation for information systems. IT technicians are in high demand across all sectors of the job market. For instance, a motivated support and service technician may find plenty of work integrating multiple databases at a global investment company, enabling employees to share between the New York, Paris and Hong Kong offices, and improving service to customers.
Web and Digital Communications
Careers in Web and Digital Communications involve creating, designing and producing interactive multimedia products and services, including development of digitally-generated or computer-enhanced media used in business, training, entertainment, communications and marketing. Organizations of all types and sizes use digital media (the World Wide Web, CD-ROM, DVD) to communicate with existing and potential customers, to track transactions, and to collaborate with colleagues. Web and digital communications experts will find a variety of employment opportunities, from websites and social media platforms that require designer, developers, administrators; e-business sites that allow people around the world to buy and sell items in real-time; and entertainment companies that produce digital animation, virtual reality, and video production.
Programming and Software
Students with a knowledge of computer systems and proficiency in programming languages may find exciting work in design, development, implementation, and maintenance of computer systems and software. They'll work with cutting-edge technologies to develop tomorrow's products for use by businesses and consumers. While many of the career opportunities in this area are in software companies, large organizations of other types, such as financial services and business, also need talented programmers. Among the exciting jobs in this field are developing new apps and video games and creating the software that launches and runs NASA space shuttles.
For more information about required and recommended classes for a pathway to the information technology industry, Grenada High School students should make an appointment with their counselors.
For more information on Career Clusters, visit the Advance CTE website — www.careertech.org — where you'll find useful resources including a description of all 16 Career Clusters, a list of credentials required for each Career Cluster, and a Student Interest Survey that uses your responses to help guide you to your top three Career Clusters of interest.
GCTC Classes Visit Nissan
GCTC classes visited Nissan. (back l to r) Trevonia Powell, Amanda Parker, Jonathan Cook, Melissa Wiggins, David Amorin, Alex Ferguson, Chris Smith, Kyle Nix, Tyler Dulin, Nic Permenter, Alex Shepherd, Dylan Ables, Case Parker, Daniel Fike, Cade Whitfield, Randy Walker, Breyton Howell, Brianna Hundley, Gage Rokasky, Thomas Coleman, (front l to r) osh Allen, Peyton Allen, and Evan Hobson.
Photo by Meg Newcomb
Grenada Middle School
Students of the Month
Photos by Lisa Holland
Sixth grade Students of the Month for September are (front l to r) Gabriel
Keeler, Leah Lemley, Eli Brasher, Anna Ferguson, Sara Beth Burden, (back
l to r) Jackson Jenkins, Paris Hall, Javaion Reed, Assistant Principal Barry
Rogers, Madarrius Ewing, Gary Davis, Mary-Faith Vance, and Kayden Walters.
Seventh Grade Students of the Month for September are (front l to r) Carson
Little, Tia Ewing, Meredith Meriwether, Hilary Beckwith, Alyssa Smitherman,
Jalyn Bullin, (back l to r) Braden Johnston, Anthony Frankin, Assistant
Principal Barry Rogers, Tirell Conley, Caleb Chrestman, Carmen Rosenthall,
and Azaria Owens.
Eighth Grade Students of the Month for September are (front l to r) Lacey
Johnsey, Asia Brock, Jaylynn Hall, (back l to r) Casey Clanton, Haylee
Smith, Mason Byars, Assistant Principal Barry Rogers, Marquavious
Townsend, and Chris Rhodes.
Lions Club member Gwen Nichols (left) screens GES student Tate Shirley
using the new Plusoptix computerized camera.
By Pamela Hubbard
Lions Club Member
The Grenada Lions Club brought their
new Plusoptix computerized camera to
Grenada Elementary School and conducted
71 vision screenings of preschool
students. The Plusoptix detects many
eye problems, including "lazy eye," and
registers data for each student. If the test
indicates any potential vision problems,
a print-out of the data is given to the
teacher and parent to encourage a followup
visit with an ophthalmologist.
In addition to using the Plusoptix for
special-education students at Grenada Elementary,
the Lions used two new Titmus
V2 screeners purchased by the district to
screen most of the other students at the
elementary and middle school.
The Lions Club vision screenings
are made possible through a Lions Club
International Foundation grant to support
the Lions KID Sight USA project.
The project's goal is to screen as many
children between the ages of six months
and six years of age in order to detect any
abnormalities that need to be corrected.
Some abnormalities cannot be corrected
after the age of six. It is important to
discover these issues as soon as possible
to ensure a child's eye health.
Physiological changes in middle
school kids make it important to scan that
age group as well.
Good eyesight helps children learn better
and gives them confidence in the classroom,
which is why the Grenada Lions
Club has screened students' vision for