With the current school semester in a state of flux, Mississippi State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright appeared on this morning’s episode of The Gallo Show to discuss how the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is handling remote learning.
On March 19, Governor Tate Reeves issued an executive order to close down all public schools until April 17. However, the closure could continue past that date as federal officials say that the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to reach its peak over the next two weeks.
According to Wright, her team at the MDE has been working directly with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs in order to analyze the constant influx of data and properly advise the governor on his upcoming decision.
“We continue to look at the data…in order to better advise us in terms of advising the governor about whether to extend the closure through the end of the year,” Wright said. “We are trying to plan for if we go back to school, what does that look like, and if we’re out for the rest of the year, what does that look like.”
As of now, most schools have prepared “paper-packets” for students, yet some teachers have been taking advantage of online platforms in order to help students learn virtually.
Wright also pointed out that the State Board of Education met in March and approved “a number of waivers to give schools more flexibility” amidst this surreal situation. For example, the MDE has waived third-grade reading assessments, plus the law-required 180 days of instruction time.
Regarding last-year students, seniors still have to earn the minimum of 24 credits in order to graduate. Therefore, all seniors who were on track to graduate going into this semester will graduate.
Right now is a tough time for school districts across the state, and Wright showed immense gratitude to all the people such as principals and teachers who are helping to make remote learning possible.
“Everybody out there is doing an amazing job.”
For the full interview with Wright, check out the video below.