It gives me great pleasure to have this opportunity to tell you about the wonderful things that occur in our school district. The Pass Christian Public School District, located in the beautiful city of Pass Christian, MS, is held in high regard in our state and across the country for our high-achieving schools. Our district consists of two elementary schools (Pass Christian Elementary and DeLisle Elementary), one middle school (Pass Christian Middle), and one high school (Pass Christian High). We serve approximately 2,050 students who come from diverse backgrounds. Our students come to school each day prepared to learn and are willing participants in the learning process. As a result, our teachers are able to teach to new heights. Thanks to the work of a committed and caring staff coupled with a strong, resilient, and supportive community, our students meet and exceed learning expectations related to college and career readiness.
Partnerships: Goal 1 – Build better, stronger Partnerships.
Our district has long-standing partnerships with local churches as well as business and industry. Several businesses work with our leadership team and teachers to provide scholarships and incentives to our students and teachers. Annually, Chemours, The Pass Christian Book Store and Cat Island Coffee House, and the Dr. Philip Terrell Foundation make donations to our schools for those purposes. It is with this kind of commitment to excellence that we continue to lead in academic arenas. Further, community organizations such as civic clubs, the Rotary Club of Pass Christian, and The Boys and Girls Club – Qatar Center join with us to support students in the classroom as well as on the field.
Of course, we could not do what we do if we did not have supportive parents and families. Our parents and families have long-standing histories in our community and schools. They want their children to experience the same powerful learning opportunities they too once had. To that end, parents participate and support our efforts. Here is where it all comes together – great instruction, engaged students, and supportive, involved parents and community. If you are interested in partnering with our schools, please call 228-255-6200 to inquire. We welcome new relationships that align with our values.
I will be visible in our schools and our community to give me the best view of our progress. It is important to maintain open lines of communication within the district and with our community at large. As a point of entry into the district, “listen and learn” meetings provided important feedback on the expectations and support for learning in our area. If you see me, please take time to share what you feel makes us great and ideas for partnerships.
Teaching and Learning: Goal 2 – Improve student Achievement.
As superintendent, I look forward to reaching new heights in academics, the arts, and athletics. I have asked teachers and leaders to ensure we address three ideas: 1) Rigor – the work that we provide students will challenge them to expand their critical and creative thinking; 2) Relevance – the work we assign students will connect in meaningful ways to the real world. Students will use problem-solving skills routinely to solve complex asymmetrical problems, which will better prepare them for college and career; and 3) Relationships – James Comer stated, “No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.” Our district values all students and will continue to work to ensure they feel safe, valued, and respected. Our classrooms will be rich with dialogue to give our students voice to their world. Thus, we will continue to partner with parents and the community to help our students feel empowered to do great things as we begin to help them unveil their dreams for themselves. The instructional and leadership teams are first-class; students are met with rigorous, relevant, and engaging instruction daily and are held to high standards of learning. We expect our students to “stand and deliver” when questioned about what they are learning and to support and defend their stances with evidence. Thanks to the hard work of our talented teachers and the support of our families, we now have one of the highest graduation rates in the state accompanied by one of the lowest drop-out rates. With our vision- Committed to Excellence- in mind, we expect all involved in the education of our students to work in unison to carry forward the legacy of high academic achievement.
Facilities: Goal 3 – Provide Safe, orderly learning environments.Under the leadership of Dr. Philip Terrell, former Superintendent, our community supported a ten-million-dollar bond issue, which allowed us to build a beautiful high school in which to educate our learners. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed over 80% of the property in our fair city; our school district was not spared. Out of unparalleled ruin, this community has continued its recovery with the school district at its side. As a result of the leadership of Dr. Sue Matheson, former Superintendent, we now have some of the newest and best learning facilities in the country. Our buildings have earned national notoriety due to their design and detail to the learning environment; however, I declare that it is not the buildings that make the system highly effective; it is the people: our students, parents, faculty, and community.
Fiscal Responsibility: Goal 4 - Ensure fi$cal responsibility (8-12% fund balance).
In October 2019, the Board recommitted to our fourth goal to ensure that, as stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars, the district remains fiscally responsible by meeting and exceeding the state’s recommended 7% fund balance. Funds in the fund balance are not to inherently become part of the operating budget. However, these funds may be used in the event of an emergency to meet payroll or pay for unforeseen physical plant needs. Within reason, funds may be used to support the operating budget in funding downfall years, if cuts would be detrimental to the operation of the district at a level that impacts students. Currently, the district has met its fiscal goal.
We invite you to explore our webpage to get to know us better. If you are a prospective parent, please do not hesitate to contact a principal regarding a school visit and tour. Returning parents and students, we are excited about what this school year will bring. It is exciting to work in a place where everyone agrees that education is our number one commitment to our youth. I assure you, there is no better place to educate your child(ren); I look forward to meeting you and working with you and your child(ren). Remember – Once a Pirate, Always a Pirate!
Carla J. Evers, PhD – Superintendent