COVID Update Update December 16, 2020Posted by Dr. Amy Carter, Superintendent on 12/16/2020
December 16, 2020
Dear MPSD Parents and Guardians,
With students beginning Winter Break this Friday, I wanted to let you know what our return to school would look like when students and staff return in January.
After talking with our teacher and parental advisory committees, school board, and district and school-level administrators, I believe that having students return to school virtually the week of January 5-8 and for in-person learning on January 11, 2021, will allow our staff and students to return safely. PPE will be replenished at school sites to ensure buildings are ready to receive students. Parents who wish to keep their child(ren) on the virtual learning path will have the option to do so provided the student has a pre-existing condition or is passing their classes.
When students return to school for in-person learning they will attend classes five days a week. Arrival and dismissal times for schools will remain the same. Elementary schools begin at 8 am and dismiss at 2 pm; while middle and high schools begin at 8:30 am and dismiss at 1:10 pm.
In order for staff and students to safely return to campus, we need your help! We understand celebrating the holidays in small groups might not be ideal; however, this may be the best option we have to return our children to campus after the holidays. Please adhere to all CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, wearing a mask, and refraining from gathering in large groups.
Our commitment to the students and parents of Meridian has remained unchanged despite the challenges of the pandemic. We realize the importance our parents play in the success of their child’s education. Thank you for your continued support. I want to commend our parents, grandparents, family members, and community for stepping up while our students have been learning virtually; however, I know that our students learn best while in school.
Please be aware that this situation is ever-changing, and all plans are subject to change pending orders of the Governor and guidelines of the Mississippi Department of Health. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us or your child’s school principal.
Dr. Amy Carter
COVID Update November 17, 2020Posted by Dr. Amy Carter, Superintendent on 11/17/2020
November 17, 2020
Dear MPSD Parents and Guardians,
Due to the increase in cases in Lauderdale County and within the school district, effective Wednesday, November 18, 2020, all MPSD students will shift to virtual learning. Students will follow their normal schedules for classes. Please contact your child’s school for additional information about course logins and coursework.
Please know that this was not a decision that we made lightly. However, after conferring with the MSDH, it is necessary to shift to virtual instruction before the holiday break to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
The school day will run as normal and students should follow their already established school schedule. This applies to both traditional and virtual students. Attendance will be taken daily as students log into their scheduled Zoom sessions.
Students should log in to their classes from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Zoom links can be found in the students’ Google Classroom. On Wednesday additional assignments can be found in Google Classroom, and parents can schedule meetings with teachers as needed.
Students should log into their Canvas classroom from 8:30 a.m.- 1:10 p.m. Zoom links can be found in the students’ Canvas portal. On Wednesday additional assignments can be found in the Canvas portal, and parents can schedule meetings with teachers as needed. Students enrolled in virtual school will continue on the same schedule from 2 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Meridian High School (9-12)
Students should log into their Canvas classroom from 8:30 a.m.- 1:10 p.m. Zoom links can be found in the students’ Canvas portal. On Wednesday additional assignments can be found in the Canvas portal, and parents can schedule meetings with teachers as needed. Students enrolled in virtual school will continue to receive support from 2:30 p.m.-5 p.m.
All assignments will be uploaded daily in your child’s Google Classroom for Elementary and Canvas for secondary students. Students are expected to log in and actively participate. To further support students learning, additional supplies and student workbooks/textbooks will be sent home with each student.
Need Help? (Tech Support)
The troubleshooting process will begin with your child’s teacher. Please email your student’s teacher for assistance with Zoom links. If your student’s teacher cannot provide a solution, he/she will complete a technology request. When the issue is resolved or there is a solution, the teacher will contact you with the resolution. Communication is key. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher via email, Google Classroom or Canvas. If you need assistance with internet please contact your child’s school and speak with an administrator.
The MPSD Child Nutrition Department will begin delivering meals to students Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Meals will be delivered from 10:30 a.m.-Noon Monday-Friday. Each meal will include lunch and breakfast and is available for children age 18 & under at no cost. Children should be on the lookout for MPSD Buses during this time. If a parent would like to pick up meals for their student, they must complete a meal request form on our website at www.mpsdk12.net. Meals will not be delivered during Thanksgiving Break which is November 23-27, 2020. Meal delivery will resume on November 30, 2020.
Finally, I do want to clarify that if your child came into contact with a positive student or staff member, you have been notified about the need for your child to quarantine for 14 days. If your child was not within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more of someone who tested positive, you have already received a letter confirming exposure encouraging you to monitor his/her symptoms. Please don’t hesitate to contact your school principal if you have questions.
Thank you for the opportunity to educate your child and we look forward to seeing our students virtually on Thursday for the remainder of the week.
Superintendent' Update on MHS Football October 6, 2020Posted by Dr. Amy Carter, Superintendent on 10/6/2020
Phase 3 Return to School Update from Dr. Amy CarterPosted by Dr. Amy Carter, Superintendent on 10/5/2020
October 5, 2020
Thank you for trusting MPSD to safely educate your children. I knew that this year was going to present challenges that we have never seen before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why our District and School Level teams, along with our Board of Trustees, have been very cautious as we slowly transitioned all students back to campus at one time.
Phase 1 of our Returning, Re-Imagining, and Revamping Plan saw us bring all students back on August 10 virtually. Phase 2 of our plan saw us bring some students back to campus on September 8, and now it is time for Phase 3 of our plan.
On October 15 MPSD secondary students will join elementary students in returning to campus for a 4-day week. Students in grades PK-12 will attend classes Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday will remain a virtual day for all students so that we can continue to take that day for additional deep cleaning of our campuses and provide additional academic support for struggling students.
Students will be able to remain on the Virtual School path if they have an existing medical condition with a diagnosis by a doctor or have extenuating circumstances that must be pre-approved by the district. Students who have shown success with the Virtual School option may continue to do so.
Our top priority remains the safety and well being of our students and staff. We know these are uncertain times for our students and their families. Please know that we will continue to strive for a safe learning environment for our students and staff while adhering to all CDC, MSDH, MDE, and local health official guidelines.
Dr. Amy Carter
2020-21 Athletic Gameday GuidelinesPosted by Dr. Amy Carter, Superintendent on 9/25/2020
September 25, 2020
As a part of our continued commitment to providing a safe and secure environment for all fans, coaches, and student-athletes, walk-through metal detectors, and a no book bag policy will be implemented for all MPSD Athletic Events beginning with the home football game on Friday, October 2, 2020.
These guidelines will be in addition to the guidelines that were released prior to the beginning of the school year. Fans can visit our website at www.mpsdk12.net to view the full list of 2020-21 Athletic Gameday Guidelines. Wildcats remember that in order to protect yourself and others a mask must be worn and social distancing guidelines must be followed at all MPSD athletic events.
The new guidelines taking effect on October 2, 2020, are:
- Implementation of walk-through metal detectors at MPSD Sporting events
- No book bags will be allowed. Purses, camera bags, and diaper bags are permitted.
As a reminder, all students ages K-8th will be required to attend MPSD Athletic Events with a parent or guardian. Students in grades 9-12 must present an MPSD student ID or other valid photo ID before entering the game. Any K-8th grade student without a parent or guardian will not be admitted to MPSD athletic events.
We want our fans to be able to come to our athletic events and have a great time as a family, and with your help in following these guidelines, we can create a game-day experience all can enjoy.
Dr. Amy Carter, Superintendent
Dr. Cheyenne Trussell, Athletic Director
Dr. Joe Griffin, Principal, Meridian High School
2020-21 Return to School PlanPosted by Dr. Amy Carter, Superintendent on 6/30/2020
Wildcat Family,Tonight the district administration
team presented the MPSD Returning, Re-imagining, and Revamping plan to the MPSD School Board. When developing the plan for a safe return to school, the Meridian Public School District consulted with parents, teachers, students, health officials, and community stakeholders to better understand their concerns and seek counsel to ensure we were taking all precautions and following CDC guidelines. We have developed, and continue to refine our safe return to school plan. The plan will be reviewed as needed.As your superintendent, I want you to know that the safety of our staff and students remain my top priority. The plan recommended and supported by the school board has students returning to school on Monday, August 10, 2020, utilizing a Blended Model. This change gives teachers more time to become familiar with safety protocols and procedures prior to receiving students. This training will take place the week of August 3-7, 2020.Here are the changes made to the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar
August 3-7, 2020- COVID-19 Returning, Reimagining, and Revamping
This training added three additional days of PD on the front end of the schedule for teachers.
August 10, 2020- First Day of School for Students
October 22, 2020- Parent Teacher Conference was removed
The thought behind removing the Parent-Teacher Conference Day is for Teachers to be available on Wednesdays or as needed throughout the year to confer with parents.
March 26, 2021- Parent Teacher Conference was removed
The thought behind removing the Parent-Teacher Conference Day is for Teachers to be available on Wednesdays or as needed throughout the year to confer with parents.Here is how instruction will look under the Blended Schedule:
How does a Blended Schedule look for Elementary Students?
Elementary students will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Drop-off time: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m., Dismissal: 2:00 p.m.
How does a Blended Schedule look for Secondary Students (6th-12th grades)?
Middle school and high school students will attend school 2 days a week for face-to-face instruction and participate in virtual learning 3 days a week. Each school will group students into A or B group and provide parents with a schedule for their child. Group A will attend Monday/Thursday and Group B will attend Tuesday/Friday.
Drop-off time: 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m., Dismissal: 1:10 p.m.
What do Wednesdays look like in a Blended Schedule?
Online Learning will take place every Wednesday for ALL MPSD Students.
Wednesday will be online learning for ALL students in Meridian Public School District. Additional deep cleaning of all common areas and classrooms will take place on Wednesdays. Teachers will be on campus offering virtual learning through Zoom and Google Classroom.
Every decision we've made is rooted in our commitment to safety for all students and staff while providing equity and access to quality instruction during this uncertain time.We ask for your continued patience and understanding as we move into this next phase of the response and prepare for a new normal. We will get through this together.Sincerely,Amy J. CarterMPSD Superintendent
Superintendent's Update: March 14, 2020Posted by Dr. Amy Carter, Superintendent on 3/14/2020
March 14, 2020
MPSD Update on COVID-19
We understand that the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, is causing much anxiety in our community, country, and the world. The Meridian Public School District is working to provide you with the most up-to-date information on this rapidly evolving situation.
In an effort to take proactive measures to ensure maximum student and staff safety, the district will extend Spring Break from March 16-20, 2020, for all students.
- Administrators, Secretaries, Maintenance and other support staff will report to work as scheduled on Monday, March 16, 2020
- Instructional staff and teacher assistants will report to work on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, to develop plans to keep students engaged in the event of a prolonged school closure
- Any staff members feeling ill or showing symptoms should contact their supervisor and not report to work
- All athletic and extracurricular events and practices are also canceled for the week of March 16-20, 2020
Please know that the Meridian Public School District is monitoring the events surrounding COVID-19 through frequent contact with the Mississippi Department of Education and the Mississippi Department of Health. Listed below are a few tips on how you, as parents and primary caretakers can help us keep our scholars and staff safe and healthy:
- Keep Children home when they are sick. Students and staff with acute respiratory systems should stay at home
- Teach your children to always cover their cough and sneezes with a tissue or elbow
- Remind them to wash their hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer) after they touch their face, use the bathroom and before they eat
- Tell children to avoid touching their mouth and nose since that is how germs get into the body
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (everyday household disinfectants are fine)
- Ensure you have a caregiver for your children for any mandated school closures
The Meridian Public School District will continue to monitor updates from the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi Department of Education to provide information to the community as events unfold. The district will use robocalls, social media, and our district web page to keep you informed. You can also visit our special COVID-19 section on our website at www.mpsdk12.net/coronavirus for additional information and resources.
The health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities, and we have a responsibility to create a safe, healthy learning environment for them. Thank you for your patience as we work together to navigate our way through this recent turn of events.
Dr. Amy Carter
Superintendent's Update: March 12, 2020Posted by Dr. Amy Carter, Superintendent on 3/12/2020
March 12, 2020
UPDATE ON COVID-19
We are aware of the state’s first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Forrest County that was announced by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) yesterday. The patient is currently under voluntary isolation in his home.
The health and safety of students and staff remain our number one priority. We will follow the guidance issued by governing and health authorities in regard to any other precautionary measures or needed closures due to COVID-19.
We are receiving updates from local and state health officials, including the Mississippi Department of Education, the Center for Disease Control, and the Department of Homeland Security. We will post any updates through our social media accounts and our automated school messaging platform.
The Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) is not recommending that schools close at this time. Based on the latest guidance from MSDH, districts should adhere to the following:
- Stay informed with current, accurate information from MSDH: msdh.ms.gov.
- Avoid any mass gatherings with 250 or more people, including school assemblies and athletic events.
- Share good hygiene practices with students and staff.
- Routinely clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
- Keep in contact with the local health department and MSDH and ensure local officials have current contact information for the district superintendent.
- Communicate regularly with students, families, and your community.
We urge all parents and students to monitor local news outlets and the guidance on the MS Department of Education website for the most up-to-date information http://www.mdek12.org/COVID19
Dr. Amy Carter
Superintendent of Meridian Public Schools