MDE COVID-19 Guidance to Districts as of April 14, 2020

Covid-19 Updates for Districts

Mississippi Public Schools to Remain Closed for the Remainder of the 2019-20 School Year
Gov. Tate Reeves today directed all Mississippi schools to remain closed through the end of the 2019-20 school year to curb the spread of COVID-19. Districts are urged to continue distance learning activities.

Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment Courses  
It is important that students enrolled in dual credit/dual enrollment courses continue participating in these courses as prescribed by their college or university. Districts should work to support these students with online learning and consideration should be given to provide district laptops to students enrolled in these courses. Colleges are communicating with their local districts about the current semester and want to ensure students will be able to complete their classes. If districts are aware of students with connectivity issues, communicate with your local college or university partner about alternative means to support these students.

Laptop Opportunity for AP Computer Science Students is working with Amazon and the College Board to help ensure students who need laptops at home can finish their AP computer science course and take the exam this year. Students can register at Availability is limited to a first-come, first-served basis. They can use it for the AP exam and keep it afterwards – it’s their laptop to inspire ongoing learning. More information from Amazon can be found at the Amazon AP CS Blog.

Parent Pick-up of Meals – OPTIONAL WAIVER
The following USDA meals waiver was announced on April 13, 2020. Implementation of Parent Pick-up of meals is not required. This is an optional waiver for districts if they choose to apply. USDA recognizes that in this public health emergency, continuing to require children to come to the meal site to pick up meals may not be practical and in keeping with the goal of providing meals while also taking appropriate safety measures. As such, parents may be allowed to pick up meals without children present upon OCN approval of the District/organization plan for distributing meals. Please see the Child Nutrition website for more information:

U.S. Department of Education Guidance: Donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or Other Medical Supplies
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has issued guidance on the donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies. Read the ED guidance here.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Webinar
The MDE hosted a webinar today to provide an overview of the federal CARES Act. The webinar focused on the Education Stabilization Fund and the waivers offered to states by the United States Department of Education (ED). This webinar will be of particular interest to superintendents, business managers, federal programs directors, school improvement directors, special education directors, and CTE directors. The MDE has not yet received final guidance or funds from ED regarding the implementation of the CARES Act.

Webinar Link:

Slide Deck:

Do You Have Questions for MDE?
Please check the MDE COVID-19 Information webpage before emailing your questions to MDE staff. We regularly add guidance, answers to questions and links to our daily update email. Daily updates are posted in the Administrator News section of the EdUpdate.