MVES getting new equipment, staff

Meadow View Elementary School Principal Rachea SImms speaks with parents about Title 1 during a Sept. 11 meeting in the school's library. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

 By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Meadow View Elementary School will get more than $442,600 in additional federal funds beginning Oct. 1 after the school was declared a Title 1 school for the upcoming fiscal year.

A school can be declared a Title 1 school if more than 40 percent of the school’s enrollment is on free or reduced lunches, Shelby County Schools Federal Program Area Specialist Mark Gray told about 50 MVES parents during a Sept. 11 meeting. Last year, about 47 percent of MVES students received free or reduced lunches, Gray said.

When MVES is declared a Title 1 school, it will mark the ninth such school in Shelby County. MVES will join other Title 1 schools Valley Elementary, Montevallo Elementary, Calera Intermediate, Calera Elementary, Elvin Hill Elementary, Shelby Elementary, Wilsonville Elementary and Vincent Elementary.

During the meeting, Gray and MVES Principal Rachea Simms told parents the school will use the extra funds to make several upgrades to the school. Gray said all MVES students will be able to take advantage of the upgrades, regardless of whether or not they are on free or reduced lunches.

“We don’t in any way identify those students on free or reduced lunches,” Gray said. “No matter what, if they are a Meadow View student, they will receive the benefits.”

Simms said the school will use the money to hire several part-time instructional aides and tutors, to purchase AMSTI math investigation books for all students and to purchase additional technology equipment, such as computers and Nook tablets.

The school also is looking to set up a parent computer lab, and will be able to offer other parent-involvement programs.

“We will be able to buy a lot of technology on October 1. We have the purchase orders filled out and ready to go,” Simms said. “We will be bringing in technology like crazy.”

Simms said by using Title 1 money to fund technology upgrades, it will free up money in the school’s general fund budget for other areas.

“Our general fund budget is released somewhat. Now we will be able to help art, music and P.E.,” Simms said.