MDE Releases Considerations for Reopening Mississippi Schools

For Immediate Release: June 9, 2020

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has partnered with a workgroup of nine superintendents from a diverse range of school districts to outline the key issues districts need to address to reopen schools. The issues are outlined in the document Considerations for Reopening Mississippi Schools, which presents a three-month timeline of strategies for school leaders to consider to plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year. 


The document is intended to be used as a resource and starting point for districts to consider local needs in collaboration with stakeholders. It will be updated in three-month intervals to adjust to changes with the COVID-19 outbreak.   

The workgroup consisted of:

· Todd English, Booneville School District

· Jason Harris, Columbia School District

· Adrian Hammitte, Jefferson County School District

· Tess Smith, Lamar County Public Schools

· Charlotte Seals, Madison County Schools

· Lance Evans, New Albany Schools

· Bonita Coleman, Ocean Springs School District

· Matt Dillon, Petal School District

· Miskia Davis, Sunflower County School

The issues are outlined in the document, Considerations for Reopening Mississippi Schools, which presents a three-month timeline of strategies for school leaders to consider to plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year. Three schedules are presented for consideration:

Traditional Schedule

Requires students to be physically present in school with scheduling modifications to follow CDC and Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) recommendations. This would consider keeping students static and moving teachers to limit interactions and assist with contact tracing, create plan for serving students and adjusting duties for staff who cannot return to the building due to health issues, and limit student movement and restrict gatherings in buildings to achieve social distancing guidelines

Hybrid Schedule

A/B Days Student population is divided in half, with each half reporting to school on alternating days and participating in distance learning during days scheduled at home. Fridays could be used for tutorials/special populations/professional development.

Elementary Face-to-Face & Secondary Distance Learning Elementary students attend four full days a week, spread out across buildings to reduce the studentteacher ratio to support social distancing. Secondary students would complete work through distance learning.

Elementary Face-to-Face & Secondary A/B Days Combination of the two models above with the goal of reducing the number of students in the schools each day to achieve social distancing guidelines.

Virtual Schedule

Instruction provided through distance learning.

Considerations for Distance Learning Effectiveness include:

• Sufficient internet bandwidth

• Mitigation of the digital divide among families

• Implementation of a Learning Management System (LMS) and developed curriculum content

• Training for teachers on instruction in a virtual environment

The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) will consider several policies at its regularly scheduled June meeting to give local school districts scheduling flexibility for the 2020-21 school year to deal with the impact of COVID-19. The SBE meeting will be held at 10 a.m. June 11. The meeting can be viewed via livestream at

To view the entire document Considerations for Reopening Mississippi Schools (Click Here)


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