JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) passed two policies which called for all school districts to resume in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year. The in-person instruction would be the primary mode of teaching.
According to SBE, the policies set requirements for districts that choose to offer a virtual learning option to students and establish standards for virtual learning days.
Leaders with SBE said the decisions align with the requirements of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARP):
- As a requirement of ARP, school districts 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.
According to SBE, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) will be in charge of providing COVID-19 public health guidance to K-12 schools.
Under the new policies, school districts that offer a virtual option for individual students must adopt local board-approved policies that include the criteria for students to participate in virtual learning, requirements for equipment, connectivity, attendance and student conduct, and assurances of equal access and non-discrimination and the delivery of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for students with disabilities.
All students who take part in virtual learning will be required to take statewide assessments on campus.
See below for the virtual learning policies that will start in 2021-22: