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Episode 19: PART TWO of Time Travel- All About the Jugs

*Warning: Explicit language and content*

In episode 19 PART TWO, We discuss more reported cases of time travel PLUS our own pop culture time travel faves!

Host: April Simmons

SPECIAL GUEST Co-Host: Sabrina Jones

Theme + Editing by April Simmons

http://anchor.fm/april-simmons to donate to our fried chicken fund

Contact us at allcatspod@gmail.com

Call us at 662-200-1909

https://linktr.ee/allcats for all our social media links

Shoutout podcasts this week: Dear Murder Street & Independent Thought

Credits:

Wikipedia.com

https://www.bustle.com/p/7-stories-of-people-who-have-claimed-to-travel-in-time-5542920

https://people.howstuffworks.com/philadelphia-experiment.htm

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/time-traveler-1928-charlie-chaplin-film/story?id=11992878

https://conspiracy.fandom.com/wiki/Project_Pegasus

https://www.inverse.com/science/second-hand-smoke-us-maps

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/fascinating-story-time-travel-scotland-12024127

https://www.eonline.com/fr/news/529683/human-barbie-time-traveling-alien-whisperer-here-s-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-disturbed-doll

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel_claims_and_urban_legends

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/weird-news/time-traveller-2030-passes-lie-12020387

This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Local Funeral Homes Stand Together

Benjamin Franklin once said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Even so, our long-established April 15th federal taxes deadline has been extended amid the Covid-19 outbreak, and funeral homes are now having to limit the number in physical attendance while grieving, in accordance with the state-wide public safety mandate issued by Governor Tate Reeves and following recommendations of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization). 

Earlier this morning, seven (7)  Lee County, MS funeral homes held a press conference where stood united, issuing a statement of their agreed-upon guidelines for funeral homes in the coming weeks. These actions are in accordance with the state-mandated “Stay In Place” order to protect the families they serve as well as the families that work in their establishments. They are still open to serving families with care and respect, but will do it responsibly with 10 or less in attendance, maintaining 6 feet of social distancing space. Public visitations are also temporarily cancelled.

The 7 Lee County, MS funeral homes that signed the agreement were: 

  • Jacque Grayson – Grayson-Porter’s Mortuary
  • Whitney Pegues – Beck, W. E. Pegues Funeral Directors
  • Steve Holland – Holland Funeral Directors
  • Nat Jones – N.L. Jones Funeral Directors
  • Sammy Reed – Lee Memorial Funeral Home
  • Ronnie Kesler – Kesler Funeral Home
  • Johnny Agnew – Agnew and Sons Funeral Home

These funeral directors are working harder than ever to find ways to memorialize the loved ones lost and help the families pay their proper respects while these distancing limitations are in place. They are available by phone to talk through any upcoming arrangements to help the families find solutions that will help bring peace and comfort.

Written by:

Ashley Elkins
398 E. Main Street, Ste 201
Tupelo, MS 38804
662-321-1160

Downtown Driveway Art Show

A friend and neighbor, Kristin McDaniel, sent me a message one morning telling me of her idea to have a “Downtown Driveway Art Gallery.” She felt inspired to do something in our community after reading that The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City would be closed until at least July.

This created a deep sadness in her because she believes that our world needs art more than ever right now! Kristin asked me to co-host the event with her to encourage, inspire, and invite people in our neighborhood to join in by displaying positive artworks at the end of their driveways on a table or chair. We invite neighborhood children and adults to participate in anyway that they can. It can be sidewalk chalk drawings, popsicle stick art, paintings, or sculptures. We encourage our neighbors to be as creative as possible! We live in a historic neighborhood that is known for creativity and arts.

Each year, our neighborhood hosts the Robins St Art Stroll. We wanted to do something as a neighborhood to lift the spirits of people that are hurting in our community by this crisis that we are experiencing. We will be displaying our art from 9am to 5pm this Saturday and Sunday (April 4th- April 5th.) We invite everyone to drive or walk around Church St., Robins St. and the surrounding streets to view the artwork. We also encourage that participants maintain social distancing practices by staying at least 6 feet apart.

I was immediately inspired by Kristin’s idea and began to look for art supplies in my own house! I had an old curtain folded away in the closet and was feeling very “Sound of Music” and decided to pull it out and give the old curtain a new life with a coat of paint and a positive message.

The curtain is now a banner on my front porch that reads “THINK ABOUT THE GOOD THINGS” inspired by the Bible verse Philippians 4:8 “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things”

In times like this it is important to stay positive and not lose hope.

by : Ali Ballard

Episode 19: PART TWO of Time Travel- All About the Jugs

*Warning: Explicit language and content*

In episode 19 PART TWO, We discuss more reported cases of time travel PLUS our own pop culture time travel faves!

Host: April Simmons

SPECIAL GUEST Co-Host: Sabrina Jones

Theme + Editing by April Simmons

http://anchor.fm/april-simmons to donate to our fried chicken fund

Contact us at allcatspod@gmail.com

Call us at 662-200-1909

https://linktr.ee/allcats for all our social media links

Shoutout podcasts this week: Dear Murder Street & Independent Thought

Credits:

Wikipedia.com

https://www.bustle.com/p/7-stories-of-people-who-have-claimed-to-travel-in-time-5542920

https://people.howstuffworks.com/philadelphia-experiment.htm

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/time-traveler-1928-charlie-chaplin-film/story?id=11992878

https://conspiracy.fandom.com/wiki/Project_Pegasus

https://www.inverse.com/science/second-hand-smoke-us-maps

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/fascinating-story-time-travel-scotland-12024127

https://www.eonline.com/fr/news/529683/human-barbie-time-traveling-alien-whisperer-here-s-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-disturbed-doll

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel_claims_and_urban_legends

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/weird-news/time-traveller-2030-passes-lie-12020387

This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

The Rundown 4/3/2020

Good morning, Tupelo and beyond! It’s Friday, April 3rd and it’s the 94th day of the year.

On this day in history in 1645, English Long Parliament passes the Self-Denying Ordinance, limiting regional armies, taking a significant step toward the New Model Army. Joseph Stalin is appointed General Secretary of the Russian Communist Party by a dying Vladimir Lenin in 1922. In 1948, US President Harry Truman signs the Marshall Plan, which gave $5B in aid to 16 European countries. American magazine TV Guide publishes 1st issue, featuring the newborn baby of actors Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, in 1953. In 1960, Tupelo’s Elvis Presley records ‘It’s Now Or Never’, ‘Fever’ and ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’ at RCA studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The first mobile phone call is made in downtown Manhattan, NYC by Motorola employee Martin Cooper to the Bell Labs headquarters in New Jersey in 1973. Bobby Fischer was stripped of the world chess title for refusing to defend it in 1975. And in 2016, the Panama Papers were published – 11.5 million confidential documents from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca expose widespread illegal activities including fraud, kleptocracy, tax evasion and the violation of international sanctions by the world’s elite in the world’s largest-ever data leak.

Here’s your quote of the day.

I don’t think anyone, until their soul leaves their body, is past the point of no return.

Tom Hiddleston

Instead of sharing events, we’re now sharing resources to help you get through #socialdistancing. These resources will range from where to find free meals for your children through the week to virtual museum tours, learning resources, and other activities to do at home with the family. If you have any resources not listed that you would like to share with #OurTupelo drop your links in the comment section of this post. 

Find the latest local Covid-19 updates directly from the Mississippi State Department of Health right here on their website.

Click the following links to read Mayor Shelton’s Executive Orders on the Emergency Proclamation declared by the Mayor and the City of Tupelo on Saturday, March 21, 2020.

Shelter in Place Moratorium on Utility Disconnections/Evictions

Details on Essential/Nonessential Businesses

Signing of Executive Order

Covid-19 Testing Locations

Need to be tested for coronavirus? These clinics offer testing. All clinics are using curbside services or bringing symptomatic patients into an isolated area of the clinic to protect them and other patients. *If you are a clinic owner offering testing and do not see your clinic listed below, send us a private Facebook message to give us your info.

  • East Main Family Medical Clinic–curbside testing and isolation rooms for patients who need to come inside for treatment.
  • Friendship Medical Clinics–Tupelo, Ecru, and New Albany locations have curbside testing available. Stay in car at all times, call your clinic when you’re in line for registration.
  • Medplus Tupelo and Fulton locations offer curbside coronavirus testing. Check-in online at medpluscares.com and check cough and fever as your symptoms to get registered for testing. Wait for the clinic to call you to provide testing time.

Senior Hours at Local Grocery Stores

  • Todd’s Big Star’s Seniors Only Shopping Hours are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am – 12 pm. Regular shopping hours will resume from 12 pm – 8 pm. Todd’s will follow these new hours every Tuesday and Thursday while following normal business hours of 7 am – 8 pm on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, and Sun. Deli is open for takeout.
  • Food Giant of North Mississippi’s Senior Hour will be daily during the first hour they are open at 7 am.
  • Dollar General also offers its first hour of business to seniors and those at a higher risk of serious complications from coronavirus. Most locations open at 8 am, some open at 7 am. Check with your location to confirm their hours.
  • Cockrell Banana offers curbside pickup for all of their produce items. Check out their Facebook page for a complete list.

If you are in need of food in the Tupelo area, Eight Days of Hope can bring it to your door with their Feed Tupelo program. Sign up for services here.

Beginning Monday, March 23rd, most if not all area school districts including but not limited to Tupelo Public School District, Lee County School District, Alcorn County School District, New Albany School District, Union County School District, Nettleton School District, and Monroe County School District. You can read the MDE’s complete list and meal pickup locations here.

Parents, welcome to homeschooling! Check out your school district’s online resources below. We will add to this list as more resources are made available. 

Tupelo Public School District

Lee County Schools

Union County Schools is conducting a survey to determine the needs of students to get access to online learning. Find it here.

Hatley Schools will be giving out instructional practice packets on Wednesday, March 25th from 10:30 to 5:30. Please pull up next to the cafeteria to pick up your child’s packet. Get more info here.

Free Online Learning and Reading Resources

Abcya.com

Pbskids.org

Storylineonline.net

Khanacademy.org

Weather.gov/learning

Virtual Tours and Other At-Home Activities

Museum Tours

National Park Tours

Street Art Tours 

Check out this list of 25 things to do at home during social distancing.

Check out ways to keep your kids entertained plus find more online learning sources here.

Selfish, LLC, a fitness center here in Tupelo is live streaming workouts on Facebook.

North Lee Crossfit is also posting home workouts and goes live on Zoom twice daily.

Planet Fitness is livestreaming workouts on their Facebook page each morning and evening.

Throwback Thursday with Special Guest: Country Fried Sushi

Remember Black Friday shopping? Remember how we didn’t care to squeeze into a line next to a stranger? Remember how 1000s of people could descend into one building and the only thing you were afraid of was not getting the 4.00 crock pot or the newest gaming system for your kids? For several years I had a lot of fun commentating on my wife’s whereabouts on Black Friday. I sort of made a game out of it as if she was a covert operative looking for the best deals as if it was a military operation. Today, I revisit some of those and then talk to my wife about how much shopping has changed in just a few short months.  

This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/j-shay/support

The Rundown 3/2/2020

Good morning, Tupelo and beyond! It’s Thursday, April 2nd and it’s the 93rd day of the year. It’s also Autism Awareness Day so wear your blue and if you can, consider contributing to the Autism Center of North Mississippi.

On this day in history in 1513, explorer Ponce De Leon claimed Florida for Spain as the first known European to discover the state. The US Mint is established with the signing of the Coinage Act in 1792. The British destroyed the Danish fleet in the Napoleonic Wars Battle of Copenhagen in 1801. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. in 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey was released. Fleetwood Mac’s legendary album Rumours first hit #1 on this day in 1977 and stayed there for a whopping 31 weeks. Finally, in 1982, several thousand Argentine troops seized the Falkland Islands from Great Britain.

Here’s your quote of the day.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, THEN SKYDIVING DEFINITELY ISN’T FOR YOU.
sTEVEN wRIGHT

Instead of sharing events, we’re now sharing resources to help you get through #socialdistancing. These resources will range from where to find free meals for your children through the week to virtual museum tours, learning resources, and other activities to do at home with the family. If you have any resources not listed that you would like to share with #OurTupelo drop your links in the comment section of this post. 

Find the latest local Covid-19 updates directly from the Mississippi State Department of Health right here on their website.

Click the following links to read Mayor Shelton’s Executive Orders on the Emergency Proclamation declared by the Mayor and the City of Tupelo on Saturday, March 21, 2020.

Shelter in Place Moratorium on Utility Disconnections/Evictions

Details on Essential/Nonessential Businesses

Signing of Executive Order

Covid-19 Testing Locations

Need to be tested for coronavirus? These clinics offer testing. All clinics are using curbside services or bringing symptomatic patients into an isolated area of the clinic to protect them and other patients. *If you are a clinic owner offering testing and do not see your clinic listed below, send us a private Facebook message to give us your info.

  • East Main Family Medical Clinic–curbside testing and isolation rooms for patients who need to come inside for treatment.
  • Friendship Medical Clinics–Tupelo, Ecru, and New Albany locations have curbside testing available. Stay in car at all times, call your clinic when you’re in line for registration.
  • Medplus Tupelo and Fulton locations offer curbside coronavirus testing. Check-in online at medpluscares.com and check cough and fever as your symptoms to get registered for testing. Wait for the clinic to call you to provide testing time.

Senior Hours at Local Grocery Stores

  • Todd’s Big Star’s Seniors Only Shopping Hours are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am – 12 pm. Regular shopping hours will resume from 12 pm – 8 pm. Todd’s will follow these new hours every Tuesday and Thursday while following normal business hours of 7 am – 8 pm on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, and Sun. Deli is open for takeout.
  • Food Giant of North Mississippi’s Senior Hour will be daily during the first hour they are open at 7 am.
  • Dollar General also offers its first hour of business to seniors and those at a higher risk of serious complications from coronavirus. Most locations open at 8 am, some open at 7 am. Check with your location to confirm their hours.
  • Cockrell Banana offers curbside pickup for all of their produce items. Check out their Facebook page for a complete list.

If you are in need of food in the Tupelo area, Eight Days of Hope can bring it to your door with their Feed Tupelo program. Sign up for services here.

Beginning Monday, March 23rd, most if not all area school districts including but not limited to Tupelo Public School District, Lee County School District, Alcorn County School District, New Albany School District, Union County School District, Nettleton School District, and Monroe County School District. You can read the MDE’s complete list and meal pickup locations here.

Parents, welcome to homeschooling! Check out your school district’s online resources below. We will add to this list as more resources are made available. 

Tupelo Public School District

Lee County Schools

Union County Schools is conducting a survey to determine the needs of students to get access to online learning. Find it here.

Hatley Schools will be giving out instructional practice packets on Wednesday, March 25th from 10:30 to 5:30. Please pull up next to the cafeteria to pick up your child’s packet. Get more info here.

Free Online Learning and Reading Resources

Abcya.com

Pbskids.org

Storylineonline.net

Khanacademy.org

Weather.gov/learning

Virtual Tours and Other At-Home Activities

Museum Tours

National Park Tours

Street Art Tours 

Check out this list of 25 things to do at home during social distancing.

Check out ways to keep your kids entertained plus find more online learning sources here.

Selfish, LLC, a fitness center here in Tupelo is live streaming workouts on Facebook.

North Lee Crossfit is also posting home workouts and goes live on Zoom twice daily.

Episode 19 Part One: Time Travel- All About The Jugs

*Warning: Explicit language and content*

In episode 19 PART ONE, We discuss reported cases of time travel. Whether you believe them or not, this is a fun and interesting subject!

PART TWO COMING SOON

Host: April Simmons

SPECIAL GUEST Co-Host: Sabrina Jones

Theme + Editing by April Simmons

http://anchor.fm/april-simmons to donate to our fried chicken fund

Contact us at allcatspod@gmail.com

Call us at 662-200-1909

https://linktr.ee/allcats for all our social media links

Shoutout podcasts this week: Dear Murder Street & Independent Thought

Credits:

Wikipedia.com

https://www.bustle.com/p/7-stories-of-people-who-have-claimed-to-travel-in-time-5542920

https://people.howstuffworks.com/philadelphia-experiment.htm

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/time-traveler-1928-charlie-chaplin-film/story?id=11992878

https://conspiracy.fandom.com/wiki/Project_Pegasus

https://www.inverse.com/science/second-hand-smoke-us-maps

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/fascinating-story-time-travel-scotland-12024127

https://www.eonline.com/fr/news/529683/human-barbie-time-traveling-alien-whisperer-here-s-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-disturbed-doll

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel_claims_and_urban_legends

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/weird-news/time-traveller-2030-passes-lie-12020387

This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

19: Episode 19 Part One: Time Travel- All About The Jugs

*Warning: Explicit language and content*

In episode 19 PART ONE, We discuss reported cases of time travel. Whether you believe them or not, this is a fun and interesting subject!

PART TWO COMING SOON

Host: April Simmons

SPECIAL GUEST Co-Host: Sabrina Jones

Theme + Editing by April Simmons

http://anchor.fm/april-simmons to donate to our fried chicken fund

Contact us at allcatspod@gmail.com

Call us at 662-200-1909

https://linktr.ee/allcats for all our social media links

Shoutout podcasts this week: Dear Murder Street & Independent Thought

Credits:

Wikipedia.com

https://www.bustle.com/p/7-stories-of-people-who-have-claimed-to-travel-in-time-5542920

https://people.howstuffworks.com/philadelphia-experiment.htm

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/time-traveler-1928-charlie-chaplin-film/story?id=11992878

https://conspiracy.fandom.com/wiki/Project_Pegasus

https://www.inverse.com/science/second-hand-smoke-us-maps

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/fascinating-story-time-travel-scotland-12024127

https://www.eonline.com/fr/news/529683/human-barbie-time-traveling-alien-whisperer-here-s-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-disturbed-doll

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel_claims_and_urban_legends

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/weird-news/time-traveller-2030-passes-lie-12020387

This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Rural Districts Embrace Creative Solutions Amid Covid-19 School Closures

by Kayleigh Skinner, Mississippi Today
March 30, 2020

As state officials try to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state, Allasica Byrd works as a respiratory therapist on the front lines, putting in 16 hour shifts in hospitals across the Mississippi Delta. Day in and out, she’s risking her health to help ensure patients’ safety.

“Our lives are in danger everyday,” the Clarksdale native said. “I’m in and out (of her home) not knowing if I’m going to bring it home to my loved ones, so it’s a battle. It’s kind of like being in the army. We just go face first.”

She’s not just concerned about her own safety — the business owner and single mother of three is one of thousands of parents in the state with children at home for the foreseeable future, as all schools closed earlier this month to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Mississippi schools are closed until at least April 17. Earlier this month, Gov. Tate Reeves announced the closures as a measure of precaution to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has currently killed 16 people in the state while the number of confirmed infections continues to grow. The Mississippi Department of Education, together with the state board of education, has cancelled standardized testing for the year and waived the requirement that school districts have school for the 180 days required by law.

While schools are now closed to the public, department officials have said learning must continue. This leaves Mississippi’s 140 school districts scrambling to put plans in place to implement distance learning or create take home packets for students. The department did release guidance for districts with resources educators can use during the pandemic, but cautioned “Taking a traditional school environment online is not a simple task – nor is it one that should be attempted without serious consideration of the practicality and risk.”

The closures present a unique set of challenges for rural schools, which serve 235,000 students in the state, according to national nonprofit Rural School and Community Trust. Online learning can be a challenge in some districts — statewide, almost one-fifth of Mississippi households do not have a computer and nearly one-third don’t have broadband, the federal standard for internet speeds, according to Census Bureau data.

“One thing to keep in mind is that teachers and staff in rural schools, especially in low resource areas, fight battles every day,” said Alan Richard, chair of the Rural School and Community Trust’s board. “So in one sense this isn’t new for them. It’s just another daunting challenge.”

Districts that serve populations who mostly don’t have internet or computer access are rising to this challenge; they must get creative to ensure students can still learn while schools are closed.

West Bolivar Consolidated School District, for example, has had Chromebooks on hand, but students were never allowed to take them home. The school board met on March 23 and passed a measure that allows students to check out Chromebooks now, said Jackie Lloyd, school board president.

As for the internet access, Lloyd said the school district is partnering with local churches who have WiFi and are willing to open their doors to children.

“We’re definitely making sure that our kids are not missing any instruction,” Lloyd said.

Clarksdale Collegiate Charter School is taking similar steps to ensure children have WiFi access while out of school. Amanda Johnson, executive director of Clarksdale Collegiate, recently announced the school purchased WiFi hotspots for students to take home, costing the school $15,000.

“We’re providing as much equitable access to our scholars as possible, so we’re allowing second and third-graders to check out those hotspots,” Johnson said at the virtual board meeting on Monday.

Schools all over the country are facing the same kinds of decisions, said Allen Pratt, executive director of the National Rural Education Association and a professor in the University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s School of Education. Districts are making choices about whether feeding will continue, and how to disseminate information to communities without internet access at home.

“It’s going to take some private sector help to take care of this,” Pratt said. “That’s where community help is going to be vital: our churches, faith-based organizations …have to help with this as well.”

Mississippi companies such as C Spire are working to provide free wireless data for students to access approved learning sites. Across the state, churches are working with districts to serve as locations where students can pick up free grab-and-go meals.

Learning aside, schools are also grappling with the decision of whether to keep their cafeterias open. This school year, 74 percent of public school students qualify for free or reduced lunch which means for thousands of students in Mississippi, school is where they can rely on two meals a day. More than 400 sites are continuing to offer free breakfast and lunch, meaning cafeteria employees are putting themselves at risk to ensure children don’t go hungry. Some districts are delivering meals via school buses; others have children come pick them up on-the-go from school parking lots.

One of the issues Lloyd, the school board president, foresees is parents not being familiar with how to navigate their child’s online learning platform.

As a result, “[Parents] are not going to be able to assist [their children],” Lloyd said. “The superintendent is working on a plan so if parents contact [the district] they can come in maybe three to five at a time and someone will be there to actually show them how to utilize their program so they can be able to help their kids at home.”

Racquel Wells-Williams, an educator in the West Tallahatchie School District, said it’s paramount for parents to implement teaching practices at home.

“You know how teachers say they meet you where they are? That’s the condition we’ll be in as educators, but as parents we have to make a conscious decision to encourage our students and to read something everyday,” she said.

Wells-Williams, a mother to four children, three of which are school-aged, knows she must do the same for her children. She is concerned about them meeting benchmarks and transitioning smoothly to the next grade.

“We got a kindergartner who’s going to first grade, a sixth-grader who’s supposed to go to a new school, then we have an 11th-grader who’s going into his senior year. How are these changes going to affect them in these transitional grades?” Wells-Williams said. “The biggest thing for me is how is the State (Department of Education) going to justify these days that we’re missing as far as progressing these children toward those benchmarks?”

Mississippi Department of Education officials have already said they will not explicitly require school districts to use virtual learning because of the challenges it presents with access to content and technology and equity for the needs of all students, among other problems.

“Having spent some time in the past working on broadband policy in the state of Mississippi, I think, it’s pretty obvious to most folks we have a disparity when it comes to the availability of broadband, particularly in our rural districts,” said Jason Dean, board chair of the state board of education. Dean is also the vice president of development at an aerospace company based in Madison.

On March 26, the state board of education met to suspend multiple policies that are affected by school closures. Although state testing has been cancelled and no students will be required to take end-of-year assessments, high school seniors will graduate this year so long as they meet state and district requirements and earn at least 24 Carnegie units, which are used to equate hours of class or contact time with an instructor over the course of a year at a high school level.

It’s now up to school districts to determine how to award credits for courses in the current school year, and the state board gave local school boards the authority to change their graduation policies so long as they still comply with state standards.

“I do understand them having to close the schools, but I am saddened for the children to have to endure this,” Byrd, the respiratory therapist, said. “They’re going to miss their peers. They’re going to miss … just the overall experience of finishing high school, proms …. But we’re doing the best we can in health care to get it underway and to protect everybody and keep everybody safe. We will overcome this. This too shall pass.”

[Click here to enter Mississippi Today’s COVID-19 Resource Portal.]

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.