AMORY – The Amory School Board held a special-called meeting March 16 pertaining to Mississippi Department of Education communication regarding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak as it pertains to education.

“We’re not in a decision-making mode; we’re in the directive-receiving mode,” said Amory School District Superintendent Ken Byars.

He is working with district office staff to put together long-term contingency plans including an online platform for distance learning and continuing meal service as needed. Byars added after the meeting the Amory High School production of “Aladdin, Jr.” scheduled for March 20-22 was postponed.

One of the discussion points of last week’s meeting included notice of state and federal assessment and accountability requirements being suspended for the 2019-2020 school year. Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright made the recommendation to the Mississippi State Board of Education.

“The Mississippi Department of Education will seek the maximum authority and waivers afforded by the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies,” Wright said in a press release.

State and federal assessments included in Wright’s recommendation include the pre-kindergarten- and kindergarten-readiness assessment (post-test); Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) and MAAP-Alternate English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science for third through eighth grades and high school; U.S. History; ACT for 11th graders; and English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT).

Wright is collaborating with Gov. Tate Reeves and Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs as the pandemic evolves.

The MDE is working with the Mississippi Legislature to address the issue of pay during an extended closure for certified and non-certified school employees.

All Amory School District personnel receiving regular pay will continue to receive it. The only exceptions are for employees who work on an as-needed basis.

All MDE COVID-19 updates are posted online at www.mdek12.org/covid19.

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