Grantee Corner  |  Clarksdale Municipal School District



The Clarksdale Municipal School District (CMSD) lies in the heart of the Mississippi Delta and is surrounded by the rich history of the Mississippi Blues. CMSD serves more than 1,100 students and is the home of six elementary schools, one middle school, one intermediate school, a 9th-grade academy,and a high school.

The Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) funds four magnet schools: Booker T. Washington International Studies Magnet Elementary School, an International Baccalaureate World School Candidate; Heidelberg Magnet Elementary School, which has a science, technology, engineering, arts,and mathematics (STEAM) focus; Kirkpatrick Health and Medical Science Elementary,which has a health and medical careers focus; and Oakhurst Intermediate Academy,which has a multidisciplinary focus of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics(STEM), plus visual and performing arts, international studies, and language immersion.

The MSAP grant helps the district provide unique learning opportunities that include a state-of-the-art STEM Lab/Visual Performing Arts Magnet Complex located on the campus of Oakhurst Intermediate Academy. Students who attend this 5th- and 6th-grade school can participate in hands-on learning with curriculum modules such as robotics, video production, software engineering, alternative energy, and graphic design. Students also have opportunities to express their talents in the visual and performing arts using the updated dance, music, and art studios.

Students at all the MSAP schools have hands-on STEM experiences that can include studying the life cycles of animals through observing live birds and fish; growing community gardens; and studying the human body through presentations by visiting chefs, exercise consultants, and scientists-in-residence from local universities and medical facilities. In addition, Heidelberg Elementary and Oakhurst Academy students produce plays several times during the school year.

The MSAP grant has given CMSD, under the leadership of Superintendent Dennis Dupree, the opportunity to display its dedication to students through innovative and focused themes. CMSD believes it is important for students of all races, religious backgrounds, and nationalities to work, live,and learn together as a community. The district uses marketing strategies to showcase the magnet schools’ rigorous curricula and unique learning environments, and to reach out to and welcome all students and families who are a part of the greater community.

The MSAP Grant Project Director is Larry D. Scott. Mr. Scott has served as a School Improvement Grant Coordinator, a Federal Programs Director, a principal, and a classroom teacher. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Delta State University. In addition, he served 3 years’ active duty in the U. S. Army and 18 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard and Army Reserve forces.Mr. Scott is passionate about his duties as project director, and aims daily to encourage students to excel and achieve in new ways through the innovative magnet themes supported by MSAP.

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