Marion Co. to focus on ACT skills, increased security in new school year

Marion County School Superintendent Carl Michael Day is hoping for a COVID-free start to the 2022-2023 school year.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - Marion County School Superintendent Carl Michael Day is hoping for a COVID-free start to the 2022-2023 school year.

“Knock on wood, we won’t have to deal with the impact of COVID and the pandemic opening up this year,” said Day. “We have a lot of work to do and a lot of ground to recover from really the past two-and-a-half years of being under the impact of the pandemic, but we’re excited.”

Day said the school district would implement a new program to infuse ACT skill sets in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades, with the goal of better preparing 9th graders to take the ACT.

“In 9th grade, we’ll be paying for every 9th grader to take the ACT, a real, live ACT,” said Day. “One of the reasons behind that is our ACT average has dropped a little bit during the pandemic. We want to move our ACT average scores for all our graduating seniors up to a 21 or better.”

He also said the program would improve chances for scholarships and early college dual-enrollment through Pearl River Community College.

Meanwhile, Day says it’s time for a significant upgrade of security at all schools.

He wants to install new electronic gating.

“So, basically, you can’t get on our campus unless you’re buzzed in, or you key in,” said Day. “There will be a camera system at every gate, so we’ll be restructuring or renovating the gate and entry system for all of our schools.”

There will also be some new faces in administration this year, with new principals at West Marion High School, West Marion Elementary School and East Marion Elementary School.

There is also a new director at the Career and Technology Center and a new curriculum director.

“We expect good things from all of our people, those who have been with us and those who are coming on board,” said Day. “The enemy of being great is accepting being good, and we don’t want to accept where we are. We were a “B” three years ago. We have work to do. We’ll see where our test scores shape up in the accountability model, but we’re looking to move to an “A” within the next couple of years and be on the top.”

Teachers and staff will return to school on July 25, and classes will begin on July 28.

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