MDE COVID-19 Guidance to Districts as of March 31, 2020

Covid-19 Updates for Districts

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 email.

Gov. Tate Reeves Issues Shelter-in-Place Order for Lauderdale County
Gov. Tate Reeves today signed a new executive order establishing a shelter-in-place for Lauderdale County to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Mississippi Department of Health identified Lauderdale County as the first localized region for additional restrictions. This follows the “Identify and Isolate” strategy that the state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, laid out at a press conference last week.

Counselor / Social Worker Supports

This may be a time of uncertainty and fear among our students. Utilizing district student support services is vital to best support our students’ needs in the areas of academic performance, social and emotional learning, and college and career readiness. School counselors, behavioral specialists, social workers, and/or school psychologists can support students and parents through set offices hours via phone, email, or virtual conferences. For further resources to help assist students and parents in this area, please visit

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Webinar Series
NBPTS is hosting webinar series (Core Connections) and related Twitter chats every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for all teachers. You can find the list of webinars on their COVID-19 response page:  The topics range from how to use various online platforms for instruction, student engagement, working with students offline, teacher self-care, and more.  The webinars are at 2pm central, and the Twitter chat starts at 7pm central.  Registration for the webinars is free and open to ALL – not just NBCTs or candidates (and if teachers register but cannot attend they will get an email with the replay and all resources).  The webinars are also broadcast on Facebook live.

Census Day of Action: April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020 is Census Day! Please encourage families in your districts to complete their Census questionnaire. This is a great time for families to complete the Census, especially since many parents are home with their children. Families may respond online at, by calling the toll-free number, 1-844-330-2020, or by mailing back the questionnaire they receive in the mail. The toll-free number is in 12 different languages. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate the Census in their weekly lesson plans. Resources can be found on the Statistics in Schools website,

The census is the foundation of our democracy, and it’s on all of us to ensure that everyone gets counted. As people around the country fill out their census forms, they will mark where they live and spend the majority of their time as of April 1. Since this is a key date for the census, the Census Counts Campaign wants to elevate the importance of the day through a series of action and a number of ways that groups and census advocates can plug into the Day of Action. Groups are encouraged to plan their own day of action events. Below is a list of some potential ways to get involved! For more information and resources on the census, visit

  • Elevate the importance of the 2020 Census online. Refer to this messaging toolkit and share these graphics to elevate the importance of the 2020 Census and the ways that people can participate (online, by phone and by returning the paper questionnaire by mail.)  
  • Do the #CensusChallenge. An opportunity to highlight why the census is so important and who you can COUNT on not only for the census but during these shifting times. Participate in the challenge by posting a photo or video of someone you can count on, why the census is important to you, and tag 3 people to take part. Find out more here.  
  • Organize an event. Host a tele townhall, census remote training, twitter storm, virtual census kiosk, or remote phone and text bank. Invite all of your coalition members, partners, and community members to participate and hear why the 2020 Census is so critical to your community.
  • Get trained! Join the April 2nd Ultimate Train-the-trainer. NALEO, State Voices and The Leadership Conference will host a remote train-the-trainer to talk through census operations, messaging, and get out the count tactics. Interested? RSVP here.

 MDE Webinars: Review of State Board of Education Actions   
The MDE will host two webinars on Friday, April 3, 2020, to review the State Board of Education actions taken on March 26, 2020, related to assessment, accountability, graduation requirements, course grades and licensure requirements.   

The format of the webinars will be similar to the March 26 SBE meeting, which is currently available onlineIn addition to an overview of SBE actions, MDE staff will address questions submitted in advance.    

District staff should view the meeting March 26 SBE meeting and review board items prior to sending questions to the MDE. Questions related to the SBE action can be emailed to prior to 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Questions will be posted to the Guidance and FAQ section of the MDE website, online at