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Who has the overall discipline authority in schools?
- Local school districts create and implement discipline plan
- Discipline plan is distributed to each student
- Parents sign a statement verifying they received the discipline plan
- Annual audit of each school board’s discipline plan and code of student conduct.
What is detention and when is it permitted?
Under what circumstances can a student be suspended or expelled?
The superintendent and principal of a school can suspend a student for good cause. Good cause includes:
Misconduct in the school or on school property (37-11-29);
Misconduct on the road to and from school, or at any school -related activity or event; or
Misconduct occurring on non-school property when the student’s conduct is found by the principal or superintendent to disrupt the educational environment, to be a detriment to the best interest of the teacher and/or class, or any reason a student can be disciplined by the school board under state or federal law or school district policies and regulations. See Miss. Code Ann. § 37-9-71(2015).
What are the types of suspension and the processes for each?
What notice is the student (and parent) entitled to with respect to a suspension or expulsion?
The procedures that must be followed for suspensions and expulsions must:
- be included in each local school district’s student code of conduct, and
- comply with due process requirements. Code Ann. § 37-11-55 (2015).
Does Mississippi have a zero tolerance policy?
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of a Weapon
Committing an act of violence on school property. See Miss Code Ann. § 37-11-18 (2015).
Is corporal punishment at schools permitted?
What is corporal punishment?
enforce a school rule
for the protection of other students from disruptive students. Miss. Code Ann. § 37-11-57(2) (2015).
How can corporal punishment be used?
state and federal law,
rules or regulations of the State Board of Education, and
the local school board. Miss. Code Ann. § 37-11-57(2) (2015).
Can you sue an official for using corporal punishment?
Is there a state policy on bullying?
No student or school employee shall be subjected to bullying or harassing behavior by school employees or students.
No person shall engage in any act of retaliation against a victim, witness or a person with reliable information about an act of bullying or harassing behavior.
Miss. Code Ann. § 37-11-67 (2014).
What is bullying?
- Places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property; or
- Creates a hostile environment by interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits.
Miss. Code Ann. § 37-11-67(1) (2015).
Where are the procedures for reporting and investigating bullying located?
What should the policies recognize?
What type of bullying behavior is considered unlawful?
It is unlawful for any person to try to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person enrolled in any school to interfere with their right to attend classes or causing them to miss classes.
Miss. Code Ann. § 37-11-20 (2015).
The Mississippi Attorney General and Superintendent of Education have launched an anti-bullying campaign titled Fear Stops Here.
Are there dress code requirements for schools?
Who is considered an ELL / LEP Student?
- Between the ages of 3 and 21
- Was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English
- Has difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language and whose difficulties may deny such individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English
OR a student may also be considered ELL/LEP if the student:
- Is a Native American or Alaska Native or native resident that comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual’s level of English language proficiency.
- Is migratory and whose native language is not English and comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant.
See Mississippi Department of Education, “Definitions,” http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/federal-programs-fy13-cfpa/mississippi-ell-guidelines.docx
What is the assessment test used for ELL / LEP? What are the procedures to identify an ELL / LEP Student?
- Home Language Survey
- Initial Assessment of Language Proficiency
- Parental Notification
- Program Placement
Assessments to determine eligibility
The Mississippi Department of Education has adopted the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA)-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) to help determine eligibility for placement in the local school board’s English language development program. The W-APT assesses English language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing as well as comprehension to ensure that the student’s language needs are properly identified and addressed through the local school board’s educational program. Information about Mississippi’s use of the W-APT is available online: http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/federal-programs-fy13-cfpa/mississippi-ell-guidelines.docx.
What instructional programs are available for ELLs?
The program(s) may include:
- Bilingual Education Program
- Content-based English as a Second Language (CBESL) Program
- English as a Second Language (ESL) Program
- Maintenance Bilingual Education Program
- Newcomer Program
- One-way Bilingual Education
- Pull-Out Program
- Sheltered English Immersion Program
- Structured English Immersion Program
- Submersion Program
- Transitional Bilingual Education Program
- Two-way Bilingual Education Program
English as a second language (ESL): All instruction is provided through English.
Other helpful links
The Mississippi Department of Education’s ELL site:
Mississippi’s Guidelines for English Language Learners is available online: http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/federal-programs-fy13-cfpa/mississippi-ell-guidelines.docx
Does the state have any policy on ability grouping?
Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) courses: the schools district must make a proposal to the Department of Education’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction, and must indicate the process for identifying students for Pre-AP courses. Miss. Code Ann. § 37-15-39 (4) (2015).
Does the state guarantee students access to any specific classes or quality of classes (i.e., college preparatory, etc.)?
- Language Arts
All school districts may offer Pre-Advanced Placement courses in each of the four core areas
Miss. Code Ann. § 37-15-39(5) (2015); http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/MBE/manual/policy-2900-curriculum/policy-2903-access-to-a-substantive-and-rigorous-curriculum-policy
Requirement exemption: A high school that offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is exempt from these requirements. Miss. Code Ann. § 37-15-39(5) (2015).
Course requirements: A list of required course offerings by Mississippi public high schools is available in Appendix B of the Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards – 2015, http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/accreditation-library/2015-accountability-resource-manual-revised-1-12-16_20160113163257_122461.pdf?sfvrsn=2.
Requirements for secondary schools: A list of all courses offered in secondary schools must be provided by the Department of Education. http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/MBE/manual/policy-2900-curriculum/policy-2902-approved-courses-for-the-secondary-schools
Department of Education approved courses: The list of approved courses for 2015-2016 is available online: https://districtaccess.mde.k12.ms.us/curriculumandInstruction/ApprovedCoursesManual/2015-2016/2015-2016%20Approved%20Courses%20Manual%20for%20Secondary%20Schools%20-%20March%202015.pdf.
Does the state require schools to have Gifted & Talented programs? Are there any admission requirements?
- Grades 2-12: All local school districts may have gifted education programs for intellectually, creatively, and/or artistically gifted students approved by the Board of Education.
- Grades 9-12: All local school districts may have gifted education programs for academically gifted students approved by the Board of Education.
Miss. Code Ann. § 37-23-179(3) (2015).
Funding gifted programs: School districts shall be allotted funds for teachers employed in a State Department of Education-approved program for gifted education. Miss. Code Ann. § 37-151-81(4) (2015).
Who is considered a “gifted child” and what is “gifted education”?
- “Gifted children” are children who are found to have an exceptionally high degree of intellect, and/or academic, creative or artistic ability.
- “Gifted education” means all programs for instruction of intellectually gifted children in Grades 2 through 12 and programs for instruction of academically gifted children within Grades 9 through 12 and programs for instruction of creative or artistically gifted children within Grades 2 through 12. These programs should be designed to meet the individual needs of gifted children and should be in addition to and different from the regular program of instruction provided by the district.
Miss. Code Ann. § 37-23-175 (2015).
What are the state’s graduation requirements?
- mastery of minimum academic skills as measured by assessments developed and administered by the State Board of Education
- completion of a minimum number of academic credits, and all other applicable requirements prescribed by the state school board.
Miss. Code Ann. § 37-16-7(1) (2015).
Required Tests: To graduate high school, students must pass subject area tests (Subject Area Testing Program – SATP) in the following:
- U.S. History from 1877
- English II (with a writing component)
- Biology I
- Algebra I
Miss. Code Ann. § § 37-17-6, 37-16-7 (2015); http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/MBE/manual/policy-3800-graduation-requirements/policy-3803-assessments-required-for-graduation.
If a student fails the required tests, can s/he take it again?
Exceptions to SATP requirements: There are certain exceptions to the SATP requirements, particularly with respect to students transferring to Mississippi public schools from other schools. Miss. Code Ann. § § 37-17-6, 37-16-7 (2015); http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/MBE/manual/policy-3800-graduation-requirements/policy-3801-policies-for-subject-area-testing.
- Students transferring from public schools prior to 2001-2002 school year: Students will not be required to pass any end-of-course Subject Area Test in a course for which the Carnegie unit was earned by the student in a Mississippi public school prior to the 2001-2002 school year.
- Students transferring from public schools in another state: Students entering a Mississippi public school will not be required to pass any end-of-course Subject Area Test in a course for which the school accepts Carnegie units earned by the student in a public school of another state as fulfilling the requirements for a Mississippi high school diploma.
- Students transferring from private schools accredited regionally or by state: Students entering a Mississippi public school will not be required to pass any end-of-course Subject Area Test in a course for which the school accepts Carnegie units earned by the student in a private school as fulfilling the requirements for a Mississippi high school diploma, provided the private school is accredited regionally or by the state of Mississippi.
- Students transferring from private schools not accredited regionally or by the state: Students entering a Mississippi public school will be required to pass any end-of-course Subject Area Test in a course for which the school accepts Carnegie units earned by the student in a private school as fulfilling the requirements for a Mississippi high school diploma if the private school is not accredited regionally or by the state of Mississippi.
- Students transferring from homeschooling: Students entering a Mississippi public school will be required to pass any end-of-course Subject Area Test in a course for which the school accepts Carnegie units earned by the student through home schooling as fulfilling the requirements for a Mississippi high school diploma
For information about the SATP, please go to the following link: http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/OSA/SATP2
What classes are required for graduation?
The 24 Carnegie units required by Appendix A-2 include:
|4||1 World History
1 U.S. History
½ U.S. Government
½ Mississippi Studies
|1||½ Comprehensive Health or
½ Family & Individual Health and
½ Physical Education
|BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY||1||1 Computer Discovery or ½ Keyboarding and ½Computer Applications|
|1||Any approved 500.000 course or completion of the 2-coursesequence for Computer Graphics Technology I and II|
|TOTAL UNITS REQUIRED||24|
Alternative requirements: If parents choose to opt a student out of Appendix A-2 requirements, students will be required to complete the graduation requirements as specified in Appendix A-1 (which had been in effect for earlier graduating classes). Students may also select a modified diploma based on a career pathway option (Appendix A-3) or an early exit diploma (Appendix A-4).
Further details about the requirements are available in the Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards – 2014, http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/accreditation-library/final2014-mpsas-1-27-15_20150310080017_406250.pdf.
Additional requirements: Local school districts may establish additional local requirements approved by the local school board.
National standards: Mississippi’s statutes and Department of Education materials do not specifically incorporate National standards; instead Mississippi relies on its own Curriculum Framework (http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/MBE/manual/policy-2900-curriculum/policy-2901-curriculum-frameworks) and the Mississippi Office of Accreditation (http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/ACCRED).
Contact information for the Mississippi Department of Education
Mississippi Department of Education
359 North West Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Mississippi Department of Education
P.O. Box 771
Jackson, MS 39205-0771
Telephone and website:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS
The Department of Education (DOE), Office of Civil Rights (OCR) office for Mississippi is located in Dallas, Texas, at:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620
Dallas, TX 75201-6810
FAX: 214-661-9587; TDD: 877-521-2172
Email: [email protected]
MISSISSIPPI EDUCATION CODE
The Mississippi Secretary of State’s website contains information about the Mississippi Code and the Mississippi Administrative Code. The Education law is found in Title 37 of the Mississippi Code of 1972.