MDE Update: COVID-19 Guidance to Districts as of March 18, 2020

School Closures 

After being in communication with Gov. Tate Reeves and State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, M.D., the MDE anticipates the governor will make an announcement tomorrow about further school closures.

Staff Pay 

Both the House and Senate passed legislation to authorize districts to pay all certified and non-certified staff during school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreakDistricts will continue to receive their monthly MAEP allocations Please click the link to view the bill:

Online Learning Considerations 

Many districts have requested additional guidance regarding the feasibility and legality of providing online learning in the event of an extended school closure. For districts considering a transition to online delivery, the following should be taken into consideration. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring all students in the school or district will have equal access to the learning and required materials, including technology.
  • Ensuring the online learning system can effectively support the district’s different learning and teaching needs, including the ability to provide differentiated instruction as well as one-on-one support for students who need it. Regardless of where the learning is happening, supports identified on a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) must be provided if the district is operating.
  • Ensuring students can access the assessments associated with dual credit coursework.
  • Ensuring the systems in use are secure and will not allow for the release of protected student or staff information.
  • The ability to provide school meals.

Taking a traditional school environment online is not a simple task – nor is it one that should be attempted without serious consideration of the practicality and risk. 

The resources in the COVID19_Guidance for Districts document may be helpful to districts and teachers looking for off-site learning opportunities during an extended school closure.