The hybrid scheduling option is available immediately and will extend through October 31, 2021.
The SBE consulted with the Mississippi Department of Health in order to make the decision. Though now the hybrid scheduling option is extended through October 31, 2021, the SBE will consider extending it beyond November 1 at its October meeting.
Hybrid scheduling can only be used to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and will give districts another strategy to help educate students safely stated Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.
“The Mississippi Department of Education recommended the policy change because some superintendents expressed concern about the challenge of ensuring adequate social distance among students,” explained Dr. Wright.
This decision was made after the MSDH reported over 20,000 students quarantined in Mississippi’s K-12 schools.
Most schools have just opened only a few weeks or a couple of days ago. The MSDH has said that the have 4,500 documented cases of COVID among students throughout 803 schools in the state. In the last three weeks 5,993 students have tested positive for the virus.
Though students may choose to adopt a hybrid schedule, districts are still required to provide a minimum of 180 days of instruction and must ensure any virtual learning days include actual teaching for a minimum of 330 minutes.
Districts that offer a virtual option for individual students must follow SBE policies. They will be required to adopt local board-approved policies that include specific criteria.
Specific things that are required under these local board-approved policies are 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.
See the full copy of the policy here.