March 13: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance to School Districts

Considerations for school closure Draft 031220 Updated

Greetings Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, Federal Program Directors, Special Education Directors, CTE Directors, District Test Coordinators, Principals, Counselors, School Nurses and Teachers:

 President Donald Trump declared a national emergency today in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. The declaration gives states access to federal funds to combat the epidemic.

As of Friday afternoon, the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) has confirmed four cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi.

 The MSDH requires schools to consult with their county health department and the MSDH to determine when it is appropriate to close a school. State law does not give the MDE or the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) the authority to close schools statewide.

 The MSDH has not recommended at this time that schools should close. Complete details of the updated MSDH information and guidance are available on the MSDH website,

 As of 3:23 p.m. today, 13 Mississippi school districts reported to the MDE that they will close between one and 10 school days. View school closures:

 If any district should have to close because of COVID-19, state law gives the SBE the flexibility to waive the requirement that schools operate for 180 days.

 Attached is guidance from the MSDH and the CDC regarding school closure.