MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point's mayor and school superintendent say they're focusing on improving the quality of life and student achievement this year. Those were just some of many goals presented Thursday night during their state of the city and district address.
"I believe victory, victory takes place in the classroom," Superintendent Kim Staley said.
Superintendent Staley began the night with that mission statement. He then jumped right to improving test scores. He said in the past, scores have been low, but a fresh plan will help students meet federal and state requirements.
"We are making sure our teachers are getting training. We are using technology; I believe technology is the great equalizer," Staley said. "We have software where children can continue their work away from school."
He also talked about the district trimming its budget. One way is through the realignment plan set for the fall. Two elementary schools will close and the others will be divided by grade levels. Staley said it will save nearly $2 million.
"The good news is a lot of people probably won't lose their jobs. We will do it through attrition."
First term Mayor Aniece Liddell also discussed the city tightening its budget belt.
"There are a lot grants we would like to go after. And normally you need 25 percent, and that's where we fall short," Liddell said. "There may be some line items that we funded in the past that we may not be funding."
The mayor said despite the tough financial times, the city is moving forward in its post Katrina revitalization efforts. The mayor said all the city ball fields will soon be open. Also, a new city hall and fire station will open next year.
"You've got to have plan, and we have a plan we are putting in place. Some people say a roadmap, and we are putting it in place, and hopefully we can carry that out."
The mayor said city employees are being trained on customer service skills to better serve citizens. The city is also updating its website and working to secure funds for new police equipment.