MDE: All districts resume in-person learning as primary mode of teaching

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 11:52 AM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLBT) - When hundreds of thousands of students return to the classroom in August, many will be in-person.

The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) passed two policies Thursday that calls for all school districts to resume in-person instruction as the primary mode of teaching starting in the 2021-22 school year.

Districts are not required but can offer virtual learning options for students, and they must establish standards for virtual learning days. Hybrid options are not recommended.

Biden’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) provides money to schools to help safely reopen and maintain safe operations.

As a requirement of ARP, school districts receiving funds must develop a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction.

School districts must update their plans at least every six months through September 30, 2023. Districts must also seek public input on their plans take such input into account when revising their plans.

All students who take part in virtual learning will be required to take statewide assessments on campus.

Each district can provide schoolwide or districtwide virtual learning days in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as weather emergencies or an epidemic in the district. However, districts must ensure any virtual learning days include actual teaching for a minimum of 330 minutes, as state law requires. Districts are required to provide a minimum of 180 days of instruction.

The state Legislature provided $200 million in 2020 through the Mississippi Connects program, which provided electronic devices to every student. The next phase of the Mississippi Connects program includes professional development and support from digital learning instructional coaches, who will help teachers, schools and districts effectively use educational technology and improve student outcomes statewide.

Here are the details on each new learning policy that will begin in August:

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