Drew School District
The Drew School District is a former public school district based in Drew, Mississippi. The school district's attendance boundary included Drew, Rome, and the employee residences of the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman), located in an unincorporated area. In July 2014, it was merged into the Sunflower County Consolidated School District.
In 1967 civil rights activist Mae Bertha Carter and Marian Wright Edelman, a lawyer who worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., sued the Drew School District to challenge the Mississippi "freedom of choice" law. In 1969 the plaintiffs won the suit. Carter's children were the first black students to attend White schools in Drew. In 1969 a court order ended the segregation system in the Drew School District.
In 1986 a petition to merge the district with the Sunflower County School District circulated. John Q. West, a board member of the Drew School District, said during that year that "I'm afraid we're going to end up having neighbor against neighbor."
In June 2011 the Mississippi Board of Education voted to take over the Drew School District. In February 2012 the Mississippi Senate voted 43-4 to pass Senate Bill 2330, to consolidate the Drew School District, the Indianola School District, and the Sunflower County School District into one school district. The bill went to the Mississippi House of Representatives. Later that month, the State Board of Education approved the consolidation of the Drew School District and the Sunflower County School District, and if Senate Bill 2330 is approved, Indianola School District will be added. In May 2012 Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant signed the bill into law, requiring all three districts to consolidate. SB2330 stipulates that if a county has three school districts all under conservatorship by the Mississippi Department of Education will have them consolidated into one school district serving the entire county.
At the time of closure, the district's schools were Drew Hunter High School and A.W. James Elementary School. Prior to the 2010-2011 school year the school district had three school buildings, including A.W. James Elementary School, Hunter Middle School, and Drew High School. James served K-4, Hunter served 5-8, and Drew High served 9-12. In 2010 the school district voted to close the Drew High School building and move the 5th and 6th grades to A.W. James. John Thigpen, the president of the school board, stated that the district operated as if it had 1,200 students when in fact it had 650. Effective August 1, 2011, all students will be required to wear school uniforms.
The high school division of Drew Hunter closed after the merger took its course. High school students were rezoned to Ruleville Central High School. The secondary school is now named Drew Hunter Middle School with grades 6-8.
In 2008, 90% of the students at Drew High School were black.
|District Accreditation Status||Accredited||Accredited||Accredited||Accredited||Advised|
|School Performance Classifications|
|Level 5 (Superior Performing) Schools||0||0||0||0||0|
|Level 4 (Exemplary) Schools||1||0||1||1||0|
|Level 3 (Successful) Schools||0||2||2||0||1|
|Level 2 (Under Performing) Schools||1||1||0||1||1|
|Level 1 (Low Performing) Schools||1||0||0||1||1|
District profile and population
The Drew School district was in northern Sunflower County, in the central Mississippi Delta region and along U.S. Highway 49 West. The district consisted of 172.5 square miles (447 km2) of farmland, and as of 2005 about 7,500 people lived within the boundaries of the district. The school district was in the center of an area surrounded by four larger towns, Clarksdale, Cleveland, Greenwood, and Indianola, which function as shopping centers. The school district's attendance boundary included Drew, Rome, and the employee residences of the Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP, Parchman), located in an unincorporated area.
As of 2005 most adult residents of the district had high school diplomas or less education. Major employers included the school district, the Mississippi Department of Corrections (operator of MSP), and farming operations which produced beans, catfish, cotton, and rice. Some residents worked in factories and other businesses located in Clarksdale, Cleveland, Indianola, and Ruleville.
As of the same year within the district boundaries were two banks, about 20 churches, a National Guard armory, a library, and three parks. Three higher education institutions were within 30 miles (48 km) of the school district.
- Cobb, James Charles. The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity. Oxford University Press, August 4, 1994. ISBN 0195089138, 9780195089134.
- Glisson, Susan M. The Human Tradition in the Civil Rights Movement. Rowman & Littlefield, 2006. ISBN 0742544095, 9780742544093.
- "Drew School District Central Office." () Drew School District. Retrieved on August 16, 2010. "Drew School District Central Office 286 West Park Avenue, Drew MS, 38737"
- Wright, Megan (April 20, 2012). "Bryant Signs Bill Forcing Sunflower School Merger". Mississippi Business Journal.
- Ravo, Nick. "Mae Bertha Carter, 76, Mother Who Defied Segregation Law." The New York Times. May 6, 1999. Retrieved on March 30, 2012.
- Cobb, p. 248.
- Glisson, p. 224
- Turner, Billy. "The hometown Archie once knew is no more." The Times-Picayune. Saturday January 26, 2009. Retrieved on March 30, 2012.
- "School merger election sought." Associated Press at The Advocate. November 17, 1986. Retrieved on December 26, 2012. "Drew residents say tension has mounted since a petition began circulating to merge the financially strapped Drew schools with the Sunflower County school system. "It's caused a lot of turmoil," said John Q. West, a Drew school board member. "I'm afraid we're going to end up having neighbor against neighbor." Joe Carpenter, a retired Drew businessman and one of the founders[...]"
- Doyle, Rory. "Drew, Ruleville prepare to merge" (Archive). Bolivar Commercial. Retrieved on August 30, 2012.
- Wright, Chance. "Senate passes school merger" (Archive). Bolivar Commercial. February 2012. Retrieved on March 25, 2012.
- "School consolidation approved." Clarion Ledger. February 17, 2012. Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
- Wright, Chance. "Bryant signs school merger" (Archive). The Bolivar Commercial. Retrieved on June 13, 2012.
- "Contact." (Archive) Sunflower County School District. Retrieved on October 29, 2013. "North Central Office located in Drew, MS[...]286 West Park Avenue Drew, MS 38737"
- "Schools." Drew School District. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
- "Drew School District Audited Financial Statements For the Year Ended June 30, 2005." (PDF) Office of the State Auditor, State of Mississippi. 12 (18/82). Retrieved on July 20, 2010.
- "Board cuts schools down to 2." WDAM. April 12, 2010. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
- "Drew School District Mandatory Uniform Policy." Drew School District. Retrieved on August 11, 2011.
- Amy, Jeff. "Mississippi to return Okolona schools to local control; district merger ends Drew High School." Associated Press at The Republic. May 17, 2012. Retrieved on June 12, 2012.
- "Home." (Archive) Drew Hunter Middle School. Retrieved on October 9, 2013. "After two successful academic years, the high school portion of the school merged with Ruleville Central High School and Drew High School became Drew Hunter Middle School."
- "Handbook 2012-2013." (Archive) Sunflower County School District. Retrieved on October 9, 2013.
- "2007 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2007-09-13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
- "2006 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2006-09-06. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
- "2005 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2005-09-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
- "2004 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2004-09-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
- "2003 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2003-11-21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2007-05-26.