Part 191 - Mississippi Early Learning Guidelines for Classrooms Serving Three-and Four-Year-Old Children

Current through April 7, 2022

Rule Suspensions Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. §§ 33-15-31, 33-15-11(b)(9) and 33-15-11(c)(1) Executive Orders 1460 and 1476 School Years 2019 - 2020 and 2020 - 2021 Related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Statutes and/or Regulation(s)

Rule

Proposed Suspension and/or Revisions of Rules

Mississippi Statewide Accountability System

20 USC § 6311(b) (§ 1111(b) of the ESEA)

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-17-6(5)

Accreditation Policy 3.0

Accreditation Policy 3.0 - Annual Performance Classification:

Districts and Schools are Assigned Annual Performance Classifications based on the Business Rules of the Mississippi Statewide Accountability System.

School Improvement:

* Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools (CSI)

* Targeted Support and Improvement Schools (TSI)

* Additional Targeted Support and Improvement Schools (ATSI)

On March 19, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education granted approval for districts and schools to maintain the same accountability designation in the 2020 - 2021 school year as assigned in the 2019 - 2020 school year with no cumulative impact for cases where multiple years with the same designation may lead to a more severe consequence.

Schools and districts will retain the same designations for CSI, TSI, and ATSI from the 2018 - 2019 school year. The three-year average performance used in identification will exclude the 2019 - 2020 school year.

On March 20, 2020 the MDE submitted an expedited waiver to the United States Department of Education (ED) to waive certain requirements in Section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C § 6311(b) ) related to assessment and accountability requirements. On March 27, 2020, the MDE received official approval from ED.

ED has not issued a waiver of accountability requirements for the 2020 - 2021 school year. All accountability data collection and reporting will be required for the 2020 - 2021 school year to meet all state and federal requirements.

Local Board Governance

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-7-306 Process Standards 1 and 1.3

Process Standards 1 and 1.3:

The local school board and the superintendent of schools shall exercise due diligence in performing the respective duties in accordance with applicable law.

Every school board member selected after July 1, 2002, shall spend at least one (1) full day in a school in the district they represent, without compensation.

Upon request from the Mississippi School Boards Association, the MDE requests a one-year suspension requiring local school board members to visit each school within the district as a body during the 2019 - 2020 and 2020 - 2021 school years as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

Licensed Certified Staff

ESEA

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-9-7

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 80.1 and 80.2, State Board Policy Chapter 80, Rules 80.1 and 80.2

Process Standards 2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5

Process Standard 2:

All district professional positions requiring licensed staff are to be filled by staff that are properly licensed and endorsed in accordance with state and federal law.

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education issued a one-year suspension of the requirement for districts to respond to notifications of noncompliance for licensed staff during school closures as a result of COVID-19 for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

The MDE requests an additional one-year suspension requiring districts to respond to accreditation personnel edits based on data submitted in MSIS to the MDE for the 2020 - 2021 school year.

To ensure districts are aware of their continued responsibilities MDE will provide additional guidance to districts regarding the approval and parameters of any waivers and suspensions approved by the SBE for the 2020 - 2021 school year. In accordance with Accreditation Policy 2.1, the district superintendent and school principals shall ensure that all data reported to the MDE are true and accurate as verified by supporting documentation on file in the school district.

Personnel Appraisal System

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-3-46(b) and § 37-7-301

Process Standards 3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7

Process Standard 3:

The school district implements an annual, formal personnel appraisal system for licensed staff that includes assessment of employee on-the-job performance.

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the requirement for districts to submit annual employee performance data for the 2019 - 2020 school year via Share Point; however, districts were provided the option to submit available Professional Growth System (PGS) data to MDE for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

The suspension removed sanctions for districts failing to adhere to the reporting guidelines of the Educator and Administrator Professional Appraisal System for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

Districts were not required to attend the MDE-approved PGS training for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

It is recommended that districts attend future PGS training in preparation for the upcoming school years in which Process Standard 3 is reinstated.

Annual Financial Audit

2 C.F.R. Part 200

Miss. Code Ann. § 7-7-211(e)

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 10.1, State Board Policy Chapter 10, Rule 10.1

Process Standard 4

Process Standard 4:

Local school boards are required to obtain an annual financial audit of the school district, as conducted under the guidelines of the Office of the State Auditor, no later than nine (9) months after the end of the district's fiscal year (March 31).

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the requirement for school boards to obtain an annual financial audit, as conducted under the guidelines of the Office of the State Auditor, no later than nine (9) months after the end of the district's fiscal year (March 31).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has authorized recipients and subrecipients with fiscal year-ends through June 30, 2020, to delay the completion and submission of the Single Audit reporting package, to six (6) months beyond the normal due date.

In consultation with the Office of the State Auditor, the MDE temporarily suspended the deadline set in Process Standard 4 and extended the deadline by six (6) months to reflect the OMB's extension (September 30, 2020) for the Fiscal Year 2019 audits.

The Office of the State Auditor has not issued the deadline to school districts for submission of the Fiscal Year 2020 audits. Fiscal Year 2020 audits are due no later than nine (9) months after the end of the district's fiscal year (March 31, 2021) unless the Office of the State Auditor grants an additional extension based upon OMB's guidance.

Compulsory School Attendance

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-91

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 30.1 and 30.2, State Board Policy Chapter 30, Rules 30.1 and 30.2

Process Standard 10

Process Standard 10:

The school district implements procedures for monitoring and reporting student absences as specified in the Mississippi Compulsory Attendance Law.

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the requirement for districts to monitor and submit student referrals for attendance violations, of compulsory school-age students, after March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, through the end of the 2019 - 2020 school year.

Actions taken for petitions filed in accordance with Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-91(7) and scheduled court dates prior to March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, through the 2019 - 2020 school year, fall under the jurisdiction of the courts and the MDE will continue to adhere to the courts' rules.

180 Day School Calendar

Miss. Code Ann. §§ 37-151-7(3)(c), 37-3-49, 37-13-61 through 69, and 37-15-15(j)

Process Standard 13

Process Standard 13:

The academic year provides a minimum of 180 teaching days in which both teachers and pupils are in regular attendance for scheduled classroom instruction.

On March 19, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the SBE suspended the requirement mandating each school district to submit a request to alter the school calendar and request forgiveness by the SBE for all days missed as a result of the impact of COVID-19 in the state of Mississippi. The SBE also approved altered school terms for school districts to operate for less than one hundred eighty (180) days for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

For the 2020 - 2021 school year, districts will have three (3) options for school opening (or any combination thereof) to meet the one hundred eighty (180) teaching day requirement:

1) Traditional Schedule

2) Hybrid Schedule

3) Virtual Schedule

A traditional schedule requires students to be physically present in school with scheduling modifications to follow Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.

A hybrid schedule combines online and face-to-face instruction for students. Schools must meet distance learning requirements.

A virtual schedule provides instruction through distance learning.

Guidance regarding how districts shall record attendance based on the scheduling options outlined above is forthcoming.

330 Minutes of Instruction Per Day

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-67

Process Standard 13.1

Process Standard 13.1:

The teaching day must provide 330 minutes of instruction per day.

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the requirement for 330 minutes of instruction per day from March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19 through the end of the 2019 - 2020 school year.

The MDE requests an additional one-year suspension for the 2020 - 2021 school year of Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-67 which states, "the number of hours of actual teaching which shall constitute a school day shall be determined and fixed by the Board of Trustees of the school district at not less than five and one-half (5½) hours. This suspension will allow districts flexibility within their re-entry plans/scheduling options in an effort to comply with the MSDH and the CDC guidelines as a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 during the 2020 - 2021 school year. With this suspension of the 330 minutes of instruction per day, districts shall meet a minimum of 240 minutes (4 hours) of instructional time per day.

Instructional time for Carnegie unit credit

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-16-7

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 36.1-36.4, State Board Policy Chapter 36, Rules 36.1-36.4

Process Standards 13.2 and 14

Process Standard 13.2:

Districts must ensure that during the academic school year a minimum of 140 hours of instruction is provided for each

Carnegie unit of credit offered and 70 hours for each one-half (½) unit offered.

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the requirement of the minimum of 140 hours of instruction required for each Carnegie unit of credit offered and 70 hours for each one-half (½) unit offered for the 2019 - 2020 school year. School districts were required to determine a process for awarding a Carnegie unit credit for courses that were incomplete for school year 2019 - 2020. Carnegie units were not to be granted for courses where the student was never enrolled during the 2019 - 2020 school year. Districts were not allowed to enroll a student in a Carnegie unit bearing course after March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, for the 2019 - 2020 school year for the sole purpose of awarding a Carnegie unit credit, unless one (1) of the following conditions were met:

1) the district was on a 4 x 4 block schedule and the student was taking a one-half (½) credit course, or

2) the student was enrolling in an approved online course through Mississippi Online Course Approval (MOCA) with the expectation that the student would complete the course by the end of the Spring 2020 semester.

The conditions outlined above were not applicable to transfer students enrolling in a school district on or after March 16, 2020 for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

Students transferring from a public school (instate or out-of-state) or a nonpublic school accredited by the MDE or other regionally accrediting agency to be determined by the local school district was eligible to enroll in a Carnegie unit bearing course after March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, for the 2019 - 2020 school year, if the student was previously enrolled in the course in his/her transferring school.

Based on approved school board policy, local school districts had the authority to issue a standard high school diploma to any student who met the minimum graduation requirements as approved by the State Board of Education during the 2019 - 2020 school year. See Appendix A in Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards, 2019.

The MDE requests an additional one-year suspension of the minimum of 140 hours of instruction required for each Carnegie unit of credit offered and 70 hours for each one-half (1/2) unit offered for the 2020 - 2021 school year. This suspension will allow districts flexibility within their re-entry plans/scheduling options in an effort to comply with MSDH and CDC guidelines as a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 during the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Each district shall be required to develop a plan to ensure the mastery of content for each Carnegie unit awarded in lieu of meeting the 140-hour requirement for one (1) Carnegie unit awarded and 70 hours for each one-half (1/2) unit awarded. The plan shall be approved by the local school board and posted on the district's website no later than September 30, 2020.

Graduation Requirements

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-17-6

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 34.1 and 36.1 - 36.4, State Board Policies

Chapter 34, Rule 34.1 and Chapter 36, Rules 36.1 - 36.4

Process Standards 14, 14.1, and 14.2

Process Standard 14.1:

Each student receiving a standard high school diploma has earned the minimum number of Carnegie units as specified in Appendix A.

On March 19, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended citations associated with changing local school board graduation requirements mid-year for the 2019 - 2020 school year due to the impact of school closures related to COVID-19. The local school board

had the authority to suspend and/or amend the graduation requirements set forth by the local school board for the 2019 - 2020 school year. Students were not allowed to graduate with less than the minimum number of Carnegie units set forth by the State Board of Education and outlined in Appendix A.

The student was required to meet both the minimum number of Carnegie unit requirements and the required courses as outlined in Appendix A.

Local districts may establish additional local requirements approved by the local school board as authorized under Miss. Code Ann. § 37-16-7. Local districts have the option of granting high school diplomas as outlined in Appendices A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4. The waivers granted by the State Board of Education for the 2019 - 2020 school year allowed districts to amend or establish local board policy to waive additional requirements above the state minimum and allow students to graduate using the minimum requirements outlined in Appendices A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4.

The local school board shall establish graduation requirements for the 2020 - 2021 school year prior to the first day of school. Such requirements shall meet the minimum number of Carnegie units set forth by the SBE and outlined in Appendix A. The local school board lacks the authority to suspend and/or amend the local district's graduation requirements for school year 2020 - 2021 mid-year unless the SBE grants authority.

Process Standard 14.2:

Each student receiving a standard diploma has met assessment requirements on each of the required high school end-of-course (EOC) subject area tests or met one (1) of the options in lieu of passing the test as outlined in Appendix A-5.

1. Any student grades 7 through 12 that was enrolled in Algebra I, Biology, English II and/or U. S. History during the 2019 - 2020 school year and earned the Carnegie Unit credit will not be required to take and/or pass the corresponding EOC subject area test(s) or meet one (1) of the options in lieu of passing the test(s) in order to meet the graduation requirements regardless of their expected graduation date/year.

The student must have earned the Carnegie unit credit for the course prior to the end of the 2019 - 2020 school year. If the Carnegie unit for the course was not earned by the end of the Spring 2020 semester or prior to the summer MSIS data submission deadline through credit recovery, extended school year, and/or summer school, etc., this rule suspension does not apply.

2. Any student grades 7 through 12 enrolled in school during the 2019 - 2020 school year as of March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, that has passed the Algebra I, Biology, English II, and/or U.S. History course(s), but has not passed the corresponding EOC subject area test(s) or met one (1) of the options in lieu of passing the test(s), will be allowed to graduate, if all other state and local graduation requirements have been met regardless of their expected graduation date/year. These students are typically referred to as "retesters".

3. Any student in grades 7 through 12 who took a Fall 2019 EOC assessment as a first-time test taker (4 x 4 districts) and failed the corresponding EOC assessment will not be required to re-take the corresponding EOC assessment or meet one (1) of the options in lieu of passing the test(s), in any future school year to meet graduation requirements regardless of their expected graduation date/year.

4. Any student enrolled in Algebra I, Biology, English II, or U.S. History in the 2019 - 2020 school year who failed the course in the 2019 - 2020 school year and must repeat the course in the 2020 - 2021 school year (or thereafter) to earn the Carnegie Unit credit will be required to pass the corresponding EOC assessment or meet one (1) of the options in lieu of passing the assessment as outlined in Appendix A-5.

5. Any student enrolled in school in the 2019 - 2020 school year who earned a Carnegie Unit credit in Algebra I, Biology, English II or U.S. History in a school year prior to 2019 - 2020, but took the test as a first time test taker in the Fall 2019 or was planning to take the assessment as a first-time test taker in Spring 2020 will not be required to take and/or pass the EOC assessment or meet one (1) of the options in lieu of passing the assessment when school reconvenes regardless of their expected graduation date/year.

6. The composite score option outlined in Appendix A-5 will not be available to students who do not have four (4) EOC subject area test scores.

7. Students who were not enrolled in the 2019 - 2020 school year, but are still attempting to meet the graduation requirements through re-test opportunities will be required to pass the EOC assessment or meet one (1) of the options in lieu of passing the assessment as outlined in Appendix A-5.

"Enrolled" refers to students enrolled in a public school (in-state or out-of-state) or a nonpublic school accredited by the MDE or other regionally accrediting agency to be determined by the local school district. Students transferring from a public school (in-state or out-of-state) or a nonpublic school accredited by the MDE or other regionally accrediting agency to be determined by the local school district was eligible to enroll in a subject area tested course unit bearing course after March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, through the 2019 - 2020 school year, if the student was previously enrolled in the course in his/her transferring school.

On March 20, 2020 the MDE submitted an expedited waiver to the United States Department of Education (ED) to waive certain requirements in Section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C § 6311(b) ) related to assessment and accountability requirements. On March 27,

2020, the MDE received official approval from ED. The wavier related to federal and state assessments applied only to the 2019 - 2020 school year.

ED has not issued a waiver of assessment requirements for the 2020 - 2021 school year. Any student grades 7 through 12 enrolled in Algebra I, Biology, English II and/or U. S. History during the 2020 - 2021 school year will be required to take and pass the corresponding EOC subject area test(s) or meet one (1) of the options in lieu of passing the test(s) in order to meet the graduation requirements regardless of their expected graduation date/year.

Mississippi Statewide Assessment System

20 USC § 6311(6)§ 111(b) of the ESEA

Miss. Code Ann. §§ 37-16-1 through 4 and § 37-16-9

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: Ch. 34, Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 74.20,

State Board Policy Chapter 74, Rule 74.20

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 78.1 and 78.7, State Board Policy Chapter 78, Rules 78.1 and 78.7

Process Standard 16 and Appendix F

Process Standard 16:

The school district adheres to all requirements of the Mississippi Statewide Assessment System.

On March 19, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education granted approval to suspend all federal and state requirements of the Mississippi Statewide Assessment System for the 2019 - 2020 school year:

* Pre-K and Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (post-test);

* Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) and MAAP-Alternate (MAAP-A) English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science - Grades 3 - 8 and High School End-of-Course;

* U.S. History;

* Statewide sponsored administration of the ACT for 11th graders;

* English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT); and

* Career Planning and Assessment System (CPAS).

On March 20, 2020 the MDE submitted an expedited waiver to the United States Department of Education (ED) to waive certain requirements in Section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C § 6311(b) ) related to assessment and accountability requirements. On March 27, 2020 the MDE received official approval from ED. The wavier related to federal and state assessments applied only to the 2019 - 2020 school year.

ED has not issued a waiver of assessment requirements for the 2020 - 2021 school year. All state and federal assessments will be administered during the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Pre-K Programs

Miss. Code Ann. §§ 37-3-301(ss) and 37-3-301(zz)

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 28.4, State Board Policy Chapter 28, Rule 28.4

Process Standard 17.2

Mississippi Early Learning Guidelines for Classrooms Serving Three- and Four-Year-Old Children

Process Standard 17.2:

Early Childhood Programs (kindergarten and teacher assistant) [Districts Meeting the Highest Levels of Performance are exempted from provisions of subsection (4) of Miss. Code § 37-21-7.]

Due to the impact of school closures related to COVID-19 and the impact on professional development opportunities, on April 16, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the required pre-kindergarten teacher assistant requirements by one (1) school year, such that requirements are as outlined below:

By August 1, 2021, 50% of regular education pre-kindergarten teachers, special education pre-kindergarten teachers, and assistant teachers in each district will meet the requirements described in the Early Learning Guidelines for Classrooms Serving Three- and Four-Year-Old Children.

By August 1, 2023, 100% of regular education pre-kindergarten teachers, special education pre-kindergarten teachers, and assistant teachers in each district will meet the requirements described in the Early Learning Guidelines for Classrooms Serving Three- and Four-Year-Old Children.

The MDE requests an additional one-year extension of the requirements for Early Childhood Programs:

By August 1, 2022, 50% of regular education pre-kindergarten teachers, special education pre-kindergarten teachers, and assistant teachers in each district will meet the requirements described in the Early Learning Guidelines for Classrooms Serving Three- and Four-Year-Old Children.

By August 1, 2024, 100% of regular education pre-kindergarten teachers, special education pre-kindergarten teachers, and assistant teachers in each district will meet the requirements described in the Early Learning Guidelines for Classrooms Serving Three- and Four-Year-Old Children.

Instructional Management System & Literacy Based Promotion Act

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-177-1 through 21

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 41.1, State Board Policy Chapter 41, Rule 41.1

Process Standard 20.2

Process Standard 20.2:

The instructional management system includes a tiered instructional model including academic interventions, behavior interventions, and Literacy Based Promotion Act requirements.

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education granted approval to suspend all requirements of the Mississippi Statewide Assessment System for the 2019 - 2020 school year including the 3rd grade Reading assessment as required by the Literacy Based Promotion Act (LBPA).

All students enrolled in Grade 3 in the 2019 - 2020 school year were to be promoted to Grade 4 for the 2020 - 2021 school year, if the student met all other district requirements for promotion.

The dyslexia screener that was to be administered to all students during the Spring of their kindergarten year was suspended for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

The screener shall be administered in the 2020 - 2021 school year as required.

There has been no waiver of assessment requirements for the 2020 - 2021 school year. All students enrolled in Grade 3 during the 2020 - 2021 school year shall meet the requirements of the LBPA.

Academic Promotion/ Progression/ Retention of Students & Uniform Grading Policy

Miss. Code Ann. §§ 37-11-64 and 37-11-36

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 2.3, State Board Policy Chapter 2, Rule 2.3

Process Standards 21 and 21.1

Process Standard 21:

The district follows an established board policy that defines criteria for the academic promotion/progression/retention of students.

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended citations associated with changing local school board policies mid-year during the 2019 - 2020 school year related to the academic promotion/progression/retention of students or the district's uniform grading policies due to the impact of school closures related to COVID-19.

The local school board shall establish criteria for the academic promotion/progression/ retention of students for the 2020 - 2021 school year prior to the first day of school. The local school board lacks the authority to suspend

Process Standard 21.1:

The school district implements a uniform grading policy.

and/or amend the local district's criteria for academic promotion/progression/ retention of students for school year 2020 - 2021 mid-year unless the SBE grants authority.

The local school board has the authority to amend the local school board policy for the promotion/progression/retention of students (Process Standard 21) and uniform grading policies (Process Standard 21.1) for the 2019 - 2020 school year. The amendment(s) shall be applied equitably to all students.

The local school board shall establish uniform grading policies for the 2020 - 2021 school year prior to the first day of school. The local school board lacks the authority to suspend and/or amend the local district's grading policies for school year 2020 - 2021 mid-year unless the SBE grants authority.

Student Teacher Ratios

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-151-77

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 19.1, State Board Policy Chapter 19, Rule 19.1

Process Standards 28.1 28.2, 28.3, 28.4, and 28.5

Mississippi Kindergarten Guidelines

Process Standard 28:

Student Teacher Ratios do not exceed the

following:

* Process Standard 28.1

Student teacher ratios do not exceed 22 to 1 in kindergarten, except in instances in which a fulltime assistant teacher is in the classroom. If a full-time assistant teacher is employed, 27 may be enrolled.

* Process Standard 28.2 Student teacher ratios do not exceed 27 to 1 in classrooms serving grades 1 through 4 unless approved by the State Board of Education.

* Process Standard 28.3 Student teacher ratios do not exceed 30 to 1 in self-contained classrooms serving grades 5 through 8. A one-year waiver may be requested for classes that do not exceed more than two (2) students beyond the allowable student teacher ratio.

* Process Standard 28.4 Student teacher ratios do not exceed 33 to 1 in departmentalized academic core classes serving grades 5 through 12. A one-year waiver may be requested for classes that do not exceed more than two (2) students beyond the allowable student teacher ratio.

* Process Standard 28.5

The total number of students taught by an individual teacher in academic core subjects at any time during the school year shall not exceed 150. A teacher who provides instruction through intra-district or inter-district distance learning or supervises students taking virtual courses will be exempt from the 150-student limitation. A lab facilitator or principal designee will be responsible for the assignment of grades and related activities at the receiving school.

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education issued a one-year suspension requiring districts to request waivers to the State Board of Education or the Commission on School Accreditation to comply with student-teacher ratios for Process Standards 28.1, 28.2, 28.3, 28.4, and 28.5 for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

Requiring districts to respond to notifications of noncompliance of student-teacher ratios during school closures due to the state of emergency produced an undue burden on districts during the emergency closures for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

The MDE requests an additional one-year suspension requiring districts to request waivers to the SBE or the Commission on School Accreditation to comply with student-teacher ratios for Process Standards 28.1, 28.2, 28.3, 28.4, and 28.5 for the 2020 - 2021 school year. This suspension will allow districts flexibility within their re-entry plans/scheduling options in an effort to comply with MSDH and CDC guidelines as a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 during the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Pupil Transportation

Miss. Code Ann. §§ 37-41-53 and 63-3-615

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 81.3 and 81.4 State Board Policy Chapter 81, Rules 81.3 and 81.4

Process Standards 29, 29.2, and 29.4

Mississippi Pupil Transportation Handbook

Process Standard 29:

The school district complies with the applicable policies of the State Board of Education and state and federal laws in the operation of its transportation program.

The MDE requests a one-year suspension of the State Board of Education requirement for certified bus drivers to renew the two-year MDE Bus Driver Certification Card. This one-year suspension is applicable to all certified bus drivers with a valid MDE Bus Driver Certification Card with an expiration date of July 31, 2020, or July 31, 2021.

The district shall ensure each certified bus driver has a valid bus driver certificate and commercial driver's license (CDL) with "P" and "S" endorsements on file in the district. The district shall also have on file a yearly motor vehicle report on each driver and evidence that each driver has received two (2) hours of in-service training per year.

Upon the approval of the one-year suspension of the requirement to renew the two-year MDE Bus Driver Certification Card for certified bus drivers, the required two (2) hours of in-service bus driver training per semester provided by the district shall include bus driver safety regulations regarding loading and unloading (at home and on campus) and railroad crossings.

The two (2) required bus evacuation drills per year shall be conducted for the 2020 - 2021 school year under the MSDH and the CDC guidelines in place at the time the drills are conducted.

The district will not be cited for noncompliance, if the bus evacuation drills are modified or the district is unable to conduct the drills within the specified timelines in the Mississippi Pupil

Transportation Handbook as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

All certifications for new (first-time) bus drivers will be conducted in accordance with state statute, State Board Policy, and the Mississippi Pupil Transportation Handbook and in accordance with all MSDH and CDC guidelines in place at the time of the training/certification.

School Safety

Miss. Code Ann. §§ 37-3-81, 37-3-82, 37-3-83, 37-7-321, and 37-11-5

Process Standard 31

Mississippi School Safety Manual, Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Occupational Safety and Crisis Response Planning, Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services in Schools (MCOPS) Grant Requirements

Process Standard 31:

The school district complies with State Board Policies and State and Federal laws to provide Safe Schools. Each school has a comprehensive School Safety Plan on file that has been approved annually by the local school board.

On April 16, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the deadline of June 30, 2020 and extended the deadline for submission of the annual 40 required hours of training for MCOPS grant recipients from June 30, 2020 until August 1, 2020 in order to be compliant with MCOPS grant requirements.

The State Board of Education also suspended the deadline of June 30, 2020 and extended the deadline for submission of the annual 40 required hours of training until August 1, 2020 for school resource officers (SROs) employed with school districts that created their own police departments.

The MDE requests an additional extension of the August 1, 2020 deadline, granted on April

16, 2020, until December 31, 2020, for the submission of the annual 40 hours of training for MCOPS grant recipients and SROs as a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on training opportunities.

The district shall conduct all required drills as outlined in the Mississippi School Safety Manual for the 2020 - 2021 school year, specifically, fire drills, tornado drills, and active shooter drills. All drills shall be conducted under the MSDH and the CDC guidelines in place at the time the drills are conducted.

The district will not be cited for noncompliance, if the drills are modified or the district is unable to conduct the drills within the timelines outlined in the Mississippi School Safety Manual as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

Youth Detention Centers

Miss. Code Ann. § 42-21-321

Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 30.6, State Board Policy Chapter 30, Rule 30.6

Process Standards 32 and 32.1

Process Standard 32:

The school district complies with state statute and State Board of Education policy for education of juveniles in youth detention centers.

Process Standard 32.1:

Educational requirements of Miss. Code Ann. § 42-21-321 and Miss. Admin. Code 7-3: 30.6, State Board Policy Chapter 30, Rule 30.6

On March 26, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended citations associated with the education of juveniles in youth detention centers due to the impact of school closures related to COVID-19. The educational services provided to youth in detention centers shall be commensurate to the services provided to their peers in the sponsoring school district (i.e. online content or instructional packets) after March 16, 2020, through the end of the 2019 - 2020 school year.

The educational services provided to youth in detention centers shall be commensurate to the services provided to their peers in the sponsoring school district (i.e. online content or instructional packets) for the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Early Learning Collaborative Act

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-21-51

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-21-51(3)(c)(iv):

The department will evaluate the effectiveness of each early childhood collaborative and each prekindergarten provider. If the State Department of Education adopts a statewide kindergarten screening that assesses the readiness of each student for kindergarten, the State Department of Education shall adopt a minimum rate of readiness that each prekindergarten provider must meet in order to remain eligible for prekindergarten program funds.

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-21-51(3)(d):

Prekindergarten program funds shall be awarded to early childhood collaboratives whose proposed programs meet the program criteria. The criteria shall include: (xiii) The number of instructional hours to be provided, which shall equal no less than five hundred forty (540) instructional hours per school year for half-day programs and one thousand eighty (1,080) instructional hours per school year for full-day programs.

On April 16, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the required Effectiveness Evaluation Plan for the 2019-2020 school year due to the impact of school closures related to COVID-19 and the cancellation of statewide assessments. Grantees shall remain eligible for funding in the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Due to the impact of school closures related to COVID-19, the MDE will allow reimbursement for Early Learning Collaboratives at the full-time and part-time rate for children in the program.

Grantees may continue to receive grant funds from March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, through the 2019 - 2020 school year.

The MDE requests an additional one-year suspension of the instructional time requirement for Early Learning Collaboratives.

Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia Program

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-173-1 et seq.

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-173-13(2)(b):

The Mississippi Department of Education will disburse payments to nonpublic schools under this program in twelve (12) substantially equal installments. The initial payment shall be made after department verification of admission acceptance, and subsequent payments shall be made upon verification of continued enrollment and attendance at the nonpublic school.

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-173-17(1)(d):

To be eligible to participate in the Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia Program, a nonpublic school must:

(d) Maintain in this state a physical location where a scholarship student regularly attends classes.

On April 16, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the requirement for continued attendance at a physical school location from March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, through the 2019 - 2020 school year.

The MDE requests a one-year suspension of the requirement for continued attendance at a physical school location for the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Mississippi Speech-Language Therapy Scholarship for Students with Speech-Language Impairment Program (Nate Rogers Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program)

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-175-1 et seq.

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-175-17(1)(d):

To be eligible to participate in the Mississippi Speech-Language Therapy Scholarship for Students with Speech-Language Impairment Program, a nonpublic school must:

(d) Maintain in this state a physical location where a scholarship student regularly attends classes.

On April 16, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the requirement for continued attendance at a physical school location from March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, through the 2019 - 2020 school year.

The MDE requests a one-year suspension of the requirement for continued attendance at a physical school location for the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Cursive Writing

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-10

Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-10:

The standard course of study shall include the requirement that the public schools provide instruction in cursive reading and writing, implemented across the curriculum, so that students create readable documents through legible cursive handwriting by the end of the fifth grade, and that students pass with proficiency a teacher-constructed test demonstrating the students competency in both reading and writing cursive.

On May 21, 2020, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the State Board of Education suspended the requirement that students pass with proficiency a teacher-constructed test demonstrating competency in both reading and writing cursive, from March 16, 2020, the first date of school closures due to COVID-19, through the date classes resume following the state of emergency. This test shall be suspended for students who would have taken it during the 2019 - 2020 school year based on district practice.

The MDE requests an additional one-year suspension of the requirement that students pass with proficiency a teacher-constructed testdemonstrating competency in both reading and writing cursive for the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Process standard numbers refer to the Process Standards outlined in the Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards, 2019. Any waivers granted by the State Board of Education will also be granted as applicable to nonpublic schools accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education.

Notes

Adopted 5/20/2018 Amended 6/16/2020

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