Gov. Tate Reeves recently announced that public schools would remain closed through the rest of the semester.
Schools have been closed since spring break, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
At an April 14 press conference, Reeves commended teachers, students and parents for their hard work during the crisis.
“I know how hard teachers, students and all staff, and how hard parents have been working during this dangerous time. You have my deepest respect and sincere admiration.”
However, he said that while buildings are closed, classes will continue through distance learning.
To ensure that students are learning, he said schools will be asked to submit data regarding their distance learning plans, as well as plans for distance learning this summer, should make up classes be needed.
He said it would be up to the individual districts to determine whether additional learning would be required this summer or fall. Reeves said students likely will not return to a physical classroom at least through May.
"We don’t expect our young people to go back into school buildings, in large crowds in small rooms, in the next six weeks or so," he said.
Even if additional remediation is needed for younger students, Reeves said seniors in Mississippi public high schools should still be able to complete graduation requirements on schedule, and that standardized testing requirements for students this year had been waived by the state Department of Education.
"I anticipate if you’re a senior and doing what your teacher is asking you ... you will graduate.”
In other news, State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs announced 3,087 case of coronavirus had been reported in the state, with 111 deaths. As of April 12, more than 37,000 people had been tested for the virus.
Dobbs urged people to continue practicing social distancing and to follow state shelter-in-place mandates.
Said Dobbs, “You’re not doing this just for you, but for your family. Follow these guidelines very closely if want to get back to normal.”
Reeves issued a shelter-in-place order through April 20. Prior to that, the governor had already issued shelter-in-place rules, as well as bans on crowds of 10 or more people.
He said those measures have reduce the number of coronavirus cases in the state by 90 percent.
As for the shelter in place order, Reeves said he will decide whether it would be extended sometime this week.
“We’re looking at all the data right now, we are not seeing the spike some states have seen as they neared their peak,” he said. “We are going to make a decision over the next couple of days regarding the shelter-in-place.”