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MDE investing $49M to support student safety and learning

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) announced on Friday that it’s investing up to $49 million of its COVID-relief funds to support student safety and learning statewide.

The dollars, which come from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER), will create four new services in which schools can opt in to at no cost.

“These student and school support services will help all district and school leaders manage the challenges of the pandemic and help students accelerate their learning,” State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright said. “We urge all districts to take advantage of these valuable services. Along with a system to make schools safer, we are offering districts services that will give students access to high-quality content, college and career planning tools, and live tutors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The four services include:

Health and School Safety Platform (nSide)

The web-based the nSide platform enables schools and districts to develop and implement stronger health and safety plans that protect students, teachers and staff. Features include an emergency alert system to first responders, surveillance cameras that detect crowd congestion, and a system to create detailed campus maps and building floor plans with georeferenced images that give first responders precise locations. The system will help districts create and manage emergency operations plans that meet state and federal requirements. Several Mississippi school districts already use the nSide platform.

District opt-in deadline: Feb. 25, 2022
Cost: $14 million

Web-Based High-Dosage Tutoring (PAPER)

PAPER provides students in grades 3-12 with online access to English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics tutors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Districts that sign up for this service will be able connect their students’ courses to the tutoring platform so tutors will have access to the course content and assignments. Teachers and administrators at each school will monitor student progress and schedule one-on-one or small group tutoring sessions during the school day. Parents may also schedule tutorial services for their child(ren) after school hours and on the weekend.

District opt-in deadline: March 2, 2022
Cost: $10.7 million

College and Career Readiness Platform (MajorClarity)

The MajorClarity computer platform manages college and career readiness goals and automates the Individual Success Plans (ISPs) for each student. More than 40 Mississippi districts currently use MajorClarity for their ISP system. This platform manages college and career readiness goals and plans for students in grades 7-12. The system helps students explore careers, select courses that will help them meet their goals, prepare for work-based learning and coordinate college and other postsecondary applications.

District opt-in deadline: March 2, 2022
Cost: $1.4 million

Online Learning Resources for English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies (Discovery Education, HOMER Learning, Newsela, Imagine Learning, Cengage and News-O-Matic)

These supplemental digital subscriptions offer districts online learning resources for English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies for students in grades K-12. Teachers can assign tasks, or students can use the resources to help with their assignments. Students will be able to use the resources at home and during school breaks. Forty districts have already signed up for one or more of these online learning resources and approximately 55 more are expected to opt in before the end of the school year.

Next district opt-in deadline: May 27, 2022.
Cost: $23 million


Above information regarding the four services courtesy of MDE

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