School hybrid scheduling policies released by state

Mississippi schools are being allowed to use a combination of in-person and online classes if needed, to continue educating students in the midst of rising COVID-19 cases, according to information released by the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE). Following is information received today from the State Board of Education, that includes a link to the DeSoto County Schools plan provided to the SBE.

In-Person and Virtual Learning
The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) set two policies that call for all school districts to resume in-person instruction as the primary mode of teaching starting in the 2021-22 school year. The policies set requirements for districts that choose to offer a virtual learning option to individual students and establish standards for virtual learning days. On August 19, 2021, the SBE voted to allow school districts to use hybrid scheduling through October 31, 2021, if needed, to minimize the spread of COVID-19. On January 20, 2022, the SBE voted to allow school districts to use hybrid scheduling through March 11, 2022, if needed, to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Hybrid scheduling enables districts to reduce the number of students in schools each day by scheduling a portion of students to learn online.

Health and Safety
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is in charge of providing COVID-19 public health guidance to K-12 schools.

Federal Requirements
As a requirement of the American Rescue Plan: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP / ESSER III) fund, school districts (Local Educational Agencies/LEAs) receiving funds must develop a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. School districts must update their plans at least every six months through September 30, 2023. Districts must seek public input on their plans take such input into account when revising their plans.

School districts must email a direct link to their approved plans to mssucceeds@mdek12.org. As the plan is revised and approved at least every six months, a link to the updated plan reflecting the date of revision must be emailed to this address. Initial plans were due May 28, 2021.

District/School Closures
If a district/school closes and no instruction is provided, the district/school must report the closures to the Office of Safe and Orderly School at mdeschoolclosures@mdek12.org. View closure reports: mdek12.org/OSOS/Weather-or-COVID-related-School-Closures.

DeSoto County Schools Operation Plan 2021-2022 provided to the State Board of Education, received by the SBE on Jan. 6.

News Release

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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