District to begin 2017-18 school year with convocation, health fair

By NIKKI SMITH,

The beginning of the school year is just around the corner and much is coming up for the Petal School District in preparation for that.

Important dates

Opening convocation for faculty and staff will be held on Aug. 1, with four days of professional development following.

The school year will kick off on Monday, Aug. 7, with staggered starts across the district.

New teacher training will begin today.

Health Fair

The Coleman Center for Families and Children (CFFC), Petal First Baptist Church and Excel by 5 are partnering to bring the district’s annual back-to-school health and wellness fair to the Friendly City.

Director of the CFFC DeDe Smith said the health fair is going in a different direction this year.

The fair will still offer the usual screenings, including vision, hearing, dental and speech.

However, many services and informative booths will also be available for families as well. Smith estimated for there to be around 15 to 20 of these stations.

One of the informative stations will give car seat checks. Other vendors will also be available, such as Parents as Teachers and the Dolly Parton Library.

As parents make their way through the stations, they will be given a punch card to check off the number of booths they visit.

Smith said there will be a requirement of the number of information booths that parents must visit before they can receive uniforms, shoes, backpacks and other supplies at the end.

Those in attendance may also receive haircuts and manicures at this year’s health fair.

The health fair will take place from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Petal First Baptist Church.

Visitors should enter through the front doors.

The event is free to all and is geared toward children from birth to sixth grade students.

The Backyard Bus will also make an appearance at the health fair.

The church is located at 992 Hwy 42 in Petal. For more information call 601-545-3198 or visit petalfbc.com.

Sub teacher training

Petal School District teachers will return to school August 1, but what about those who fill in for them?

The Petal School District will hold training for potential substitute teachers for the 2017-18 school year on Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. until noon.

Anyone interested in substituting in the Petal School District for the upcoming school year must attend a training session conducted by the school district. 

The training will take place in the Central Office Board Room.

New and “veteran” substitute teachers will review classroom rules and discussed crisis management safety with campus police.

Last year, police chief Gavin Guy went over the background check process for new employees and gave a rundown of the crisis management plan.

Following the training, several new substitute teachers who joined the district last year said they found the safety drill training to be especially beneficial.

Many, but not all, potential substitutes are graduates of Petal High School or residents of the Petal community who wished to come back and be a part of the district.

All new substitutes must meet the following qualifications to substitute teach in the Petal School District: be at least 21 years of age; have 48 hours of college credit or a passing score on the WorkKeys test (required tests are: Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics and Writing or Business Writing); complete substitute training conducted by the Petal School District and submit to a complete background check performed by the Petal School District Police Department.

Background checks are $25 and must be paid by the substitute.

A registration form must be filled out and submitted to Central office in person or in the mail by Aug. 17.

Those who wish to mail in their registration may do so to the following address:

Petal School District

Substitute Training

P.O. Box 523

Petal, MS  39465

The deadline for registration is Aug. 17.

The training session is limited to 50 participants.

One must attend a training session each year for inclusion on the substitute list unless qualified as a veteran sub. “Veteran” substitutes are those who have served at least 20 days in the previous school year. 

All new substitutes will be required to pay $25 for their background check. 

Those who attend should bring his or her driver’s license and social security card for completion of the background check. Payment must be made by cash, personal check or money order.

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