MDE COVID-19 Guidance to Districts as of May 1, 2020

Covid-19 Updates for Districts

Virtual Meeting for District English Learner (EL) Coordinators, Directors, and Lead Teachers

The Mississippi Department of Education is hosting an EL check-in meeting Wednesday, May 6 for district EL leaders from across the state. This meeting is an opportunity for EL coordinators, directors, and lead teachers from Mississippi school districts to share triumphs, challenges, updates and next steps related to the recent school closings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MDE EL team members will also be in attendance to answer questions and provide updates.

Date:  Wednesday, May 6
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

We are eager to hear directly from you on your COVID-19 related challenges as well as some possible solutions. Please consider the following questions as you prepare for this meeting. Districts will have an opportunity to share ideas, methods and resources that address these questions.

  1. What are some of the immediate short-term challenges you are facing?
  2. What are some of long-term challenges related to COVID-19 that you are facing?
  3. What are some of the triumphs you have experienced throughout this pandemic?

To register please complete the Microsoft form below: 

Registration must be complete by 8:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 2020. Official access information to the webinar will be emailed Wednesday morning. If you have any questions, please contact Sandy Elliott at 

Providing Equitable Services to Students and Teachers in Non-Public Schools under CARES Act Programs  
The U.S. Department of Education has released
Providing Equitable Services to Students and Teachers in Non-Public Schools under CARES Act Programs.   

The purpose of this document is to provide information about equitable services for students and teachers in non-public schools under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (March 27, 2020). 

Two programs in the CARES Act Education Stabilization Fund require a local educational agency (LEA) that receives funds to provide equitable services to students and teachers in non-public schools. The figures below are national figures, not Mississippi’s allocation:  

Providing Equitable Services to Students and Teachers in Non-Public Schools under CARES Act Programs Frequently Asked Questions can be found here on the GEER Fund website and here on the ESSER Fund website.  Please note they are the same FAQs for both programs. 

The Department will provide additional or updated information as necessary on the Department’s COVID-19 webpage. 

iReady May Math Series to Support Mississippi Educators 
Join us for the 
May Math Series to Support Mississippi Educators, featuring sessions with Elizabeth Peyser, National Director of Content and Implementation. 

Number Lines 101: The Fundamentals  
Wednesday, May 6 | 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. CDT 

Number lines are a lovely sensemaking model from early elementary to secondary mathematics. Sometimes the construction and understanding are a bit elusive by students and educators! Join us for hands-on learning to build and use this important tool, from whole numbers to fraction computation to double number lines in middle school. Both digital tools and hands-on manipulatives will be explored. 

Moving Beyond Cross-Multiply and Divide  
Monday, May 11 | 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. CDT 

Are the ratio visual models perplexing? Join us for low-risk, hands-on learning and practice of the models that bring ratio reasoning to life for students. Learn how these middle school expectations prepare students for high school standards. 

The Arc of Arithmetic to Algebra 
Wednesday, May 13 | 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. CDT

The foundations of number sense and algebraic thinking developed in K–2 are essential for upper elementary, middle school, and high school mathematics, and they are often misunderstood. We will explore the progression of learning spanning from kindergarten to high school to experience how math skills developed in the early years prepare students for Algebra 1. No matter what grade you teach, you will find something to use with your students to propel them forward, as well as how to incorporate digital manipulatives for e-learning.

Number Lines 102: Fractions and Computation 
Thursday, May 14 | 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. CDT

Participants will learn and practice the third through sixth grade strategies to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions with number lines.

Register for all sessions via GoToWebinar! 

Superintendents: Digital Access Surveys for Families and School Employees Due May 14 – Spanish Version of Family Survey Now Available
As school closures continue and as the state develops plans to direct resources to the areas of greatest need, the MDE has prepared two brief surveys for districts to circulate: one to their families, the other to their teachers, administrators and other staff who are/will be working from home. The surveys focus on devices at home, home internet access, and the quality/reliability of that connection.

Aggregated results from districts will be shared with the governor’s office for planning purposes. Because of the critical nature of these questions – and how the results will shape state policy to address the internet connectivity challenges across the state – please do your best to reach as many families as possible and to achieve as high as response rate as possible. Teachers and school district employee who live outside of the district where they work should indicate on the survey the district where they live. This will provide a more accurate picture of where internet access gaps exist across the state.

The MDE prepared two different formats of the surveys. You may choose the approach best suited to your district. If you have any questions, please contact MDE’s Chief Information Officer, John Kraman at  

Option 1: Fillable PDF Survey  

You can print the surveys and distribute them as hard copies, you can email them and collect them electronically, or you can cut

  • Please email your compiled results using this response spreadsheet by 5 p.m., Thursday, May 14, to
  • This approach will require you to collect and tally the results. The spreadsheet has one tab for family results and second for teacher results.
  • While using the fillable PDF (or the questions from it) will require the extra step of compiling responses, you will be able to monitor results and help your families and teachers complete it.
  • Family Survey (PDF Version)
  • Spanish-Language Family Survey (PDF Version)
    Teacher Survey (PDF Version)and paste the questions into a different survey method your district prefers.  

Option 2: Web-based Survey
You can send the links to your families and teachers for them to fill out using a computer or smart phone. Responses will go directly to the MDE.

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