Spring 2019 Regional Superintendents’ Meetings Q&A

Regional Superintendents’ Meetings Questions/Feedback April 2019


 How will AP participation be calculated in the accountability model?

 There are no changes to participation measures in the Acceleration component.  AP will continue to count in the same manner as other accelerated courses for participation measures.

Science scores: if districts want to keep previous years scores, can they pick and choose which parts of science they want?

Science scores will be based on the school/district composite score from either the 2017-2018 SY or the 2018-2019 SY, whichever is higher.

When will we get the graduation guidance?

The graduation guidance document was emailed to superintendents, principals, and accountability directors by Alan Burrow on Friday, April 12.

Please provide an explanation for how grades for high schools with nontraditional grade configurations will be calculated starting with the 2018-19 school year.

The Accountability Task Force (ATF) developed a method that considers the different grade configurations for these schools and addresses the concerns related to the assignment of performance classifications.

These modified scores use the same indicators for all applicable grades but 1) transform the points associated with a 700-point scale to the 1000-point scale and 2) weight the two scales in proportion to enrollment. The following process applies:

  1. Separately calculate an accountability score for the elementary/middle grades (700-point scale) and the high school grades (1000-point scale).
  2. Convert the 700-point scale to the 1000-point scale using the provided look-up table.
  3. Determine the proportion of students included in accountability measures that are enrolled in elementary/middle grades and those enrolled in the high school grades.

 For example, consider a hypothetical school serving grades 6-12.

  • 200 of 500 students are enrolled in grades 6-8.  This component receives 40% weight.
  • 300 of 500 students are enrolled in grades 9-12.  This component receives 60% weight. 
  1. Combine the score from the high school grades with the transformed elementary/middle score from step 2 using the weights from step 3. The weighted combination is the new score for that school.


School Safety Act

 Will there be guidance for the active shooter drills? Can mental health officials serve as your certified threat assessment person?

The MDE will provide guidance to districts regarding the implementation of the School Safety Act before the law takes effect on July 1, 2019.


Professional Growth System

 If administrators were trained last year on PGS, do they have to go through training again.

An administrator who has completed PGS training beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, will not be required to complete an additional training at this time. Anyone trained prior to the 2018-19 school year is required to attend an updated training.

When were the new PGS training requirements effective?

The new training requirements became effective beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.

Has the PGS process in SharePoint changed? Will the files be separated by school?

The PGS process in SharePoint has not changed. At this time, the MDE Office of Technology and Strategic Services (OTSS) has not separated the files by school—rather, files are currently available in SharePoint by local school district.

Can more PGS trainings be approved for the Hattiesburg area?

The next PGS training available in the Hattiesburg area is scheduled for June 24, 2019 at the NR Burger Middle School Transploreum. The registration link is now available. Participants are required to register via GoSignMeUp located on MDE’s website.


School Attendance Officers

Guidance document for superintendents and school attendance officers is desperately needed.

The Office of Compulsory School Attendance is developing a guidance document, planned for release prior to the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.

Can school attendance officers provide quarterly reports to the local school board?

School attendance officers are available to provide regular updates to local school boards. Some school attendance officers currently provide such updates at the request of the district superintendent.



 When will the performance-based licensure be available statewide? What’s the process for a district to participate in that?

The performance-based teacher licensure pilot study will use information gathered over a three-year period, beginning in school year 2019-20, to inform policy recommendations to the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) regarding criteria for establishing an alternative route performance-based teacher licensure pathway. During the three-year pilot study, MDE will learn from individuals currently serving in the role of teacher who hold at a minimum a bachelor’s degree with teaching experience (possibly as a long-term substitute, emergency, special non-renewable licensed teacher, or licensed out-of-content teacher) OR classroom experience as an teacher’s assistant.  Throughout the study’s duration, its impact will be monitored based on evidence of student achievement on state assessments and candidates’ educator effectiveness scores using the Mississippi Educator and Administrator Professional Growth System.  Statewide availability will be determined at the pilot’s end and will require SBE approval. Criteria for a district’s eligibility to participate will be established during the pilot and would require SBE approval.

Teachers and districts need better access to licensure information and services. Not having walk-in appointments creates a barrier to licensure.

The Office of Teaching and Leading and Division of Educator Licensure have taken a variety of measures to address access to licensure support. We have reconfigured our staffing structure and are adding four new customer support specialists to support educational stakeholders seeking licensure information via the call center and electronic mail. This allows us to redirect our licensure analysts to focus solely on and more efficiently review and process applications.

We have added enhancements to the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) to enable applicants to upload supporting documents directly into ELMS. This reduces the mailing costs and the need to travel to Jackson. In addition, candidates can access and print documents submitted along with any correspondence(s) sent to the applicant in response to a licensure request.

Local districts can complete all local district requested (Special, Non-renewable/Emergency) license applications and supporting documentation via ELMS. In addition, local districts can review a list of educators employed by their respective district whose licenses are up for renewal within the ELMS Local District Portal.

There are many more enhancements about which local districts were notified via the Administrator News section of the EdUpdate and official memorandum in February 2019. All enhancements were developed for the purpose of addressing concerns raised by those we serve regarding access and efficiency.


Teacher Pay Raise

Is the pay raise mandated for federally funded positions?  

Yes. Districts should amend their federal budgets to reflect the pay raise.

Is the teacher salary increase of $1,500 part of the pay scale now?

Yes. For FY2020, districts will receive their funds for the teacher pay raise in a separate allocation from their MAEP. Starting in FY2021, money for the pay raise will be included in the overall calculation of MAEP.



 Where can we find the approved dual credit course list that is related to the APA item?

The current version of the Procedures Manual for the State of Mississippi Dual Enrollment and Accelerated Programs is online at http://www.mississippi.edu/cjc/downloads/dual_credit_course_listing.pdf.


Can MDE provide a list of professional development coordinators and the assigned districts?

Professional development coordinators are not assigned to specific districts, but rather serve districts across the state based on content-area expertise. Contact Kristina Livingston at klivingston@mdek12.org with any questions or to arrange a consultation with a content expert before scheduling professional development sessions. More information is available online at https://www.mdek12.org/OPD.