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Frequently Asked Questions

Intervention Services

Should only those students who fail be referred to the TST for Tier 3 interventions?

No.  This is not a “wait to fail model.” Once Tier 1 instruction is determined not to be successful, students are to receive supplemental instruction or strategic intervention in the classroom (Tier 2). If the data supports that the supplemental instruction or strategic intervention is not working, then the student should be referred to the TST prior to failing.

"Is written parental consent required prior to conducting a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) for an individual child? "

For a nondisabled child for whom school personnel do not suspect a disability, if the purpose of the FBA is to address a behavioral concern of the child in order to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation, it shall not be considered to be an evaluation for eligibility for special education and related services. However, it is suggested as a best practice, that written parental consent be obtained in this situation. This decision will be made at the local level and should be based upon local board policy. If an FBA is used to assist in determining whether a child has a disability and the child is in need of a comprehensive evaluation then it would require informed, written parental consent. 

What forms are mandated in the three-tier process?

School districts must complete, at a minimum, documentation as required for all students in Tier 2 or Tier 3. All Tier 3 documentation must accompany the student’s cumulative folder upon promotion or transfer to a new school.

Does the Tier 3 intervention have to be provided by an outside professional, or can the classroom teacher provide Tier 3 interventions?

Tier 3 students receive intensive interventions in addition to Tier 1 instruction.  Therefore, it may be difficult for the general classroom teacher to provide Tier 3 interventions.  Instructional interventions at Tier 3 should be prescribed by the TST, monitored by the TST, and evaluated by the TST. The TST also designates who will provide the intervention. If the classroom teacher is designated, the principal, as chairperson of the TST, should ensure that the classroom teacher is given sufficient planning and implementation time to properly administer the intervention.  As a reminder, Tier 3 students receive intensive interventions in addition to Tier 1 instruction.

Do English Learner (EL) students receiving EL services go through the TST process?

Yes, EL students should go through the TST process if they have been unsuccessful at Tiers 1 and 2 (with the EL services).  
 

"Can students with special education rulings receive interventions through the tier process? "

Students with a special education ruling receive services as outlined on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  If the IEP Committee has decided the general education classroom is the least restrictive environment, the student should receive interventions necessary to enable them to succeed in that environment. 

How do districts address students who no longer need Tier 2 interventions and are now successful at Tier 1?

Students who progress to grade level are exited from the Tier 2 intervention process and their progress should be monitored to assure on-level performance through classroom assessments to ensure the student’s performance is maintained.  If the student maintains the performance, then the student should be monitored through universal screening with all students.  If the student does not maintain on-level performance, the Tier 2 supplemental instruction or strategic/targeted intervention should be re-implemented. 

Can extended time on a test be used as an intervention?

No.  Extended time on a test is not an intervention.  This is considered an ordinary classroom accommodation. 

Are districts required to administer a universal screener for students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade?

Yes, all students in Kindergarten and grades 1 through 3 must be administered the state-approved screener within the first 30 days of school, to be repeated at mid-year and at the end of the school year. Schools may opt to use additional screening tools if desired, but the state approved screener is required.

If a student who was in Special Education is no longer eligible for Special Education Services but is still in need of additional support, should the student go directly to the TST?

The TST should review data to determine where the student should receive supports in the tier process.  

If a student is in the Tier 3 process, should the Tier 3 information be included in a cumulative folder when sent to another school district?

Yes, for more information refer to State Board Policy 41.1. 

Is retention considered an intervention?

 No.  Retention is not an intervention.  

What is the purpose of the MSIS intervention screen?

The screen is used to identify and track students referred to the teacher support team (TST). 

How should the TST address students who did not qualify for Special Education or 504 programs, and are still failing with Tier 3 intervention?

If the student does not qualify for Special Education services, then it was determined that a disability does not exist.  If a planned intervention at Tier 3 was not successful in meeting the child’s needs, another instructional intervention should be implemented to attempt to meet the child’s needs.  Continue to keep documentation of interventions. A student may be re-evaluated again after one year.

Does the principal have to attend every TST meeting?

Yes, the school principal as the school’s instructional leader or the principal’s designee shall serve as the TST chairperson. The designee may not be an individual whose primary responsibility is special education.  

Is there a specific time limit that a student may remain in Tier 2?

No, if the student is found to be successful due to interventions or supplemental instruction then that student may remain in Tier 2 as long as they are being successful. The goal of the Tier 2 intervention is for the student to perform on grade level and be successful in the classroom.  

Are districts/schools required to enter Tier 3 students in the referral window of the intervention screen if they did not automatically populate?

Yes, students who did not populate but are referred to TST and placed in Tier 3 must be manually entered into the intervention screen. You will pull these students into the MSIS intervention screen at the district/school level. You will not pull in Tier 1 and Tier 2 students.

"How should the district handle a student who automatically populated the MSIS intervention screen if the student is at the alternative school? "

The home school will notify the alternative school immediately. The home school should complete the data on the intervention screen and document that the alternative school will provide the interventions.

"What is the school’s responsibility when a student has completed 16 weeks of Tier 3 intervention, has been referred to the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET), and has been recommended for a comprehensive assessment, but does not qualify for special

The TST should review the new data from the assessment process and prescribe a program of instructional interventions for the student.  Tier 3 interventions may continue. 

If a student is only displaying a deficit in one area, does the TST have to do an intervention in other areas before submitting a request for a comprehensive evaluation to the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET)?

No.  If a student has a deficit in mathematics, for example, and the data indicate the student does not have a deficit in reading, then the TST does not have to conduct an intervention in reading before requesting a comprehensive evaluation.  Further assessment or evaluation can be conducted as part of the comprehensive evaluation if the MET believes an assessment or evaluation in other areas, such as reading, is warranted.

Once students are populated, or manually entered on the intervention screen, how long do they remain on the list?

The students will remain on the screen for the duration of the current school year. 

"How should the TST at the home school handle interventions for Tier 3 students who may be sent to the alternative school for 6 weeks? "

If a student went to the TST at the home school, the alternative school TST should provide assistance as outlined by the home school TST.  The home school should document that the alternative school will provide the interventions.
If a student is not referred by the home school TST but is referred by the alternative school TST, the home school TST should provide assistance as outlined by the alternative school TST upon the student’s return.

When should parents be informed of the three-tier process?

When should parents be informed of the three-tier process? All parents should be informed of the district’s process for the three-tier instructional model. Districts should stress that the intent is to assist students in being successful in the general education classroom. Parents should be notified at the start of Tier 2.  Parents should also be notified at the start of Tier 3.  After the initial meeting in which the student’s data is reviewed, the parent should be informed of the intervention plan. The parent should be invited to subsequent progress monitoring meetings.  Minimally, parent/family meetings to discuss the intervention and progress should be documented at Tier 3.

Can a parent opt their child out of intervention supports?

While there are opt-out provisions for students who are being recommended for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), nothing in State Board Policy 41.1 appears to authorize a parent to “opt out” of interventions. Also, please note that SBE Policy 41.1 is written in mandatory terms (“shall” and “must” as opposed to “may” or “in their discretion”).

How should the TST address automatically populated students who do not need Tier 3 interventions?

All students who populate the screen are referred to the TST. The TST analyzes multiple sources of student data and determines, based on the data, whether these students should remain in Tier 1 (quality classroom instruction) or should be prescribed interventions at Tier 2 or Tier 3. The intervention screen information must be completed.

"Can after-school programs or after-school tutorials be used to provide Tier 3 interventions? "

An after-school program or after-school tutorial could be a means to provide interventions, provided the following conditions are met:
· The intervention during the after-school time is provided by appropriately licensed and/or qualified staff and is designed to address the student’s individual deficit;
· The intervention is evidence-based;
· The implementation of the intervention is monitored both for fidelity of implementation AND effectiveness; and 
· The student’s participation in the after-school program or tutorial is not prevented or limited due to transportation, the student’s after-school activities (e.g., athletics, music, etc.), or for family reasons.  If the student cannot participate in the after-school program due to one or more of these reasons, then the intervention MUST be provided during the regular school day.  That is, the student’s lack of intervention received cannot be due to the after-school program and any limits the student might have for participation in an after-school program.

Can special education personnel serve as members of the Teacher Support Team?

A special education teacher may serve on the TST if he or she has some specific area of expertise in the interventions that are prescribed for an individual student on a case by case basis.  

"How often should progress monitoring be used at Tier 2 and Tier 3? "

According to the MTSS documentation packet it is recommended to progress monitor Tier 2 bi-weekly and Tier 3 weekly. 

Can a student be removed from the MSIS intervention screen?

Students are not removed from the intervention screen once they have been populated or manually entered. However, written documentation should be recorded for justification purpose if the school/district is audited. The written documentation can be presented to the auditor as evidence of compliance for the students that are listed as noncompliant on the intervention screen. 

Do TST meetings for the students who automatically populate the MSIS intervention screen have to be conducted within 20 days of the school year?

Yes, students who automatically populate the MSIS intervention screen must be referred to the TST within the first 20 days of the school year and complete the screen accordingly.   

"When progress monitoring an intervention, specifically Tier 3 interventions, does the teacher/interventionist have to use the same progress monitoring assessment throughout the entire intervention period? "

The progress monitoring assessment should be based on the intervention being used and it must be aligned to the deficit area to ensure that growth is being monitored effectively.

How should the district add students to the MSIS Intervention Screen?

The students should be added manually using the intervention referral option on the intervention screen. 

Do the TST meetings for students who are referred to the TST (students who do not automatically populate) have to be conducted within 20 days of the referral to TST date?

After a referral is made, the TST must develop and begin implementation of an intervention within two weeks.

"If a student is successful at Tier 3 and the TST determines that the student can be moved to Tier 2 interventions, and then the student begins to struggle and regress and a request is made for a comprehensive evaluation. Is the school required to conduct

The TST exists to help all students be successful in general education and to prevent the inappropriate identification of students for special education. However, the TST process cannot be used to delay or deny the provision of a full and individual evaluation to a child suspected of having a disability. 

How should students be reported in MSIS if they have automatically populated and interventions provided were not successful or effective due to inadequate attendance?

If the TST determines that a student’s lack of attendance has resulted in poor intervention progress, the TST should document the lack of progress as being attendance related and begin an intervention to deal with the lack of attendance. 

Must a student receive Tier 2 interventions before receiving Tier 3 interventions?

 No.  A student can enter Tier 3 directly (without entering Tier 2 first) if the school can demonstrate through multiple data sources that the student has severe discrepancies in academic and/or behavioral performance. 

What is the purpose of the intervention policy and how can I learn more about it?

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the behavioral and academic needs of every student are met through an instructional model that is designed to address student learning with quality classroom instruction and opportunities for intervention. For more information refer to State Board Policy 41.1.

"Are Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) required as part of the pre-referral process for students who are potentially eligible under IDEA as students with Emotional Disabilities (EmD)? "

Pre-referral interventions are designed to enable students to be successful in general education.  While it is recommended best practice for FBAs to be conducted and BIPs to be implemented pre-referral, there are no federal regulations or State Board policies requiring these specific assessments and interventions before a child suspected of a disability is referred for a comprehensive evaluation.  

What should be indicated in MSIS if a high school student at Tier 3 drops out of school?

When the intervention procedure sees a dropout or a withdrawal code for a student, the procedure will remove the student from the screen.  The users do not have to indicate any information on the Intervention Screen.

Does the MDE recommend a list of suggested interventions, websites, or books?

There are many programs, manuals for intervention, and remediation packages available. Any resource, strategy, program, etc., should specifically address the need for the intervention. Some criteria that should govern what is used are as follows: 
· Is the strategy/program designed to meet the specific need? 
· Has it been effective as an intervention for the need? 
· Can it be replicated with available resources in the school?  
· Is it evidence-based according to Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 
guidelines?
The TST should monitor selected programs closely with data to ensure 
effectiveness.  The TST may have to try more than one program before finding the one that produces desired results. 

Reading Fair

Is it MANDATORY for my student to compete in the Reading Fair?

No. The Mississippi Department of Education allows each school/district to determine if students participant in the Reading Fair.

Does my child have to read a book on his/her AR or READING LEVEL?

No. Students should have free choice in what book he/she reads for competition.

Can DRY ICE or FOOD be used on my Reading Fair presentation?

Items used for the project are not to be alive, valuable, or dangerous, including dry ice. No food or drinks can be used with the projects. Empty packages may be used as part of the display or on the display board.

What are the dates for the regional and state reading fairs?

Region 1:
Lafayette High School, Oxford, MS
January 26, 2019

Region 2:
Delta State University, Kent Wyatt Gymnasium, Cleveland, MS
January 25, 2019

Region 3:
MSU Kahlmus Auditorium, Meridian, MS
January 25, 2019

Region 4:
MS School for the Deaf, Jackson, MS
February 1, 2019

Region 5:
Lake Terrace Convention Center, Hattiesburg, MS
February 1, 2019

State Reading Fair:
MS School for the Deaf, Jackson, MS
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Do I have to wear a COSTUME to win the Reading Fair competition?

Students may hold or wear items that coordinate with the project, if desired. Students do not have to display the book, have props, or dress up.

How many students can participate in a GROUP or FAMILY PROJECT?

Between 2 - 3 students can participate in a group or family project. If a group project has students in various grades, the project should be placed in the division of the oldest student.

How much should a PARENT or TEACHER participate with final Reading Fair presentation?

We want parents and teachers to be involved with the Reading Fair. However, presentations may be deducted 10 points if student involvement is not evident in the project.

Can ELECTRICAL CORDS be used if an element needs power?

Electrical cords are not allowed at any level of competition due to the potential danger they pose in the aisles. If student creates a digital media presentation, the device should be charged and cannot be plugged in during judging.

What are the dimensions of the STORYBOARD?

Storyboards should be colorful and interesting. Models, shadowboxes, and illustrations that fit in the middle of the display are allowed. The total project must be the width, depth or height of the standing display board (36” W x 14” D x 36” H). There cannot be items protruding from the back or top of the board.

What are COPYRIGHT and PLAGIARISM?

Copyright laws govern the use of copyrighted materials such as book covers and images from the internet. Teachers and students may use copyright materials for educational projects and learning activities, but specific Fair Use guidelines must be followed. Photographs or images may be used in its entirety when creating a presentation for educational purposes. Copyrighted images must be displayed with the creator’s name or where the image was copied from.

Copying text exactly how it appears in a book or from a website is called plagiarism.  Students should use their own words to complete portions of the Reading Fair presentation. Projects can be disqualified at any level if the information is found to be plagiarised.

Presentations may be deducted 10 points if students have used images or words that have not been cited correctly.

What FORMS do I need turn in at the school level?

✔  Student Reading Fair Project Checklist
✔  Reading Fair Photograph/Video Permission
✔  Student Needing Accommodations Form (if necessary)

School Libraries

How do I weed a collection without losing majority of the collection?

In order to maintain a collection that meets the needs of the learning community, weeding of materials is essential. Select a particular collection or section of the library each year to weed and develop. For example: Biographies - have teachers and students help evaluate the collection. Weed what is not necessary, outdated, or worn. Purchase materials that creates a well-rounded Biography section. For more information, see Weeding of Collection Resources in Section 4.5 in the School Library Guide.

How do I build a well-rounded library collection that supports the current curriculum standards?

The first step is to collaborate with teachers to better understand the current curriculum standards. Have teachers use a Collection Evaluation form to evaluate the informational text in the library. Secondly, create a Collection Development Plan to ensure that the collection is being updated on a yearly basis. For more information, see Collection Guidelines in Section 4.4 in the School Library Guide.

When will my school library be audited?

Audits are scheduled by the Office of Accreditation and are not made public. Using the Monitoring Rubric and the School Library Guide can best prepare you for the library audit. For more information, see Library Monitoring Rubric in Section 6.6 in the School Library Guide.

When does my administrator evaluate me?

The administrator should complete at least one formal evaluation. A face-to-face post-conference is required after the formal evaluation which should include a discussion regarding goals, budget, and needs of the library program for the following year. For more information, see Librarian Evaluation in Section 6.5 in the School Library Guide.

Do I have to have a library website? If so, what needs to be on it?

Every school library should have a web presence. There should be a link to the library website on the school’s homepage as well as a link to the online automated system. The library website should consists of librarian’s name, basic schedule, and email. A list of credible and age-appropriate websites and link to the MAGNOLIA Database should be located on the site. For more information, see Digital Resources in Section 5.3 in the School Library Guide.

What is a budget report and who gets this information?

The school librarian should keep a budget report for each year to show the total budget, specific budget requests, and estimated costs for each particular budget area. This information should be given to the administrator during the formal post-conference when discussing the needs of the school library program. For more information, see Budget and Funding in Section 6.2 in the School Library Guide.

What type of schedule should an elementary library have?

A partially flexible library schedule would give elementary students a fixed library class schedule with some room to enjoy open library time. The librarian should receive time during the day/week to complete library administrative tasks such as weeding, shelving, purchasing, and collaborating. For more information, see Scheduling Templates in Section 3.7 in the School Library Guide.

Are there library standards for us to use to teach library skills?

Yes, there are library skills guidance created for Kindergarten through grade 12. Elementary (K-6) focus on basic library skills and delve into small research projects. Secondary (7-12) have in-depth research skills and projects that based around the College-and Career Readiness Standards. For more information, see Library Skills in Section 3.6 in the School Library Guide.

Can I organize my books based on reading levels or in genres?

No. Having books organized by reading levels or in genres do not create a well-rounded school library program and do not meet the basic foundation of creating College-and Career-Ready students. Library collections should be organized in Dewey Decimal. Reading level and genre stickers/labels can be placed on the book to help students locate a particular book. For more information, see Cataloging in Section 4.7 in the School Library Guide.

How do I add 440 Library Media Services endorsement to my license? 

If you already have a five year educator license, then you must pass the PRAXIS II Library Media Specialist (5311) with a score of 143. For more information, see the Library Media Licensure in Section 6.1 in the School Library Guide.

Do I need to complete an inventory? If so, how do I track the information?

Accounts for materials through a yearly inventory and discards inappropriate, worn-out, or outdated items (School Library Growth Rubric - Domain II). Librarians must receive time at the end of the school year to complete a full inventory of all library resources and materials. For more information, see Yearly Inventory in Section 6.6 in the School Library Guide. 

Literacy-Based Promotion Act (LBPA)

Will students with Individualized Education Program (IEP) read-aloud accommodations be allowed to use these on the Mississippi Assessment ProgramEnglish Language Arts (MAAP-ELA)?

No. The reading portion of the MAAP-ELA test assesses student’s reading skills. Teachers cannot read the assessment to students.

Where can the accommodations list for the 3rd Grade assessments be found?

For the spring administration of the Grade 3 MAAP-ELA assessment, districts should use accommodations as indicated in the 2017 Mississippi Testing Accommodations Manual. For the 3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment districts should use the accommodations as indicated in the MKAS2 -Accessibility-Features-and-TestingAccomodations. The document is linked from the right side of www.mde.k12.ms.us/mkas2.

Are students with disabilities or English learners (ELs) allowed to test individually in order for students to read the test aloud?

Yes. This is an option available to all students. While the teacher cannot read the test to students, a student can be tested individually so the student can read the test aloud to himself/herself. This must be included in the school’s test security plan, and the test administrator and proctor must both be present during that time.

Does the test need to be completed the same day?

3rd Grade MAAP-ELA: If accommodation 23 is used, then the test must be resumed on the same day.

 

3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment:  Accommodations 20, 23, 24, and 25 are all available, if applicable, on the alternative assessment. Accommodations may apply to a student with a disability (SWD), an English learner (EL), and students with a diagnosis of dyslexia that were evaluated by a licensed psychologist, psychometrist, or speech language pathologist (HB 1031, July 2012). If accommodation 25 is listed, the student will have 8 calendar days to resume the assessment. Accommodation 25 states, “Students with disabilities (SWDs) and English learners (ELs) can click [Resume Later] to allow students to resume their test at a later time, starting on the same question/number at which the test was paused but a different item. The STAR monitor password is required. Note a different password can be set for each STAR class; be sure to enter the password for the class in which the student is testing. The test can be paused and resumed as many times as needed, but it can only be resumed within 8 days of when it was originally started. Closing the test window during a test will also allow a student to resume from where they left off, although this is not recommended. If the student clicks [Stop Test] and the monitor password is entered, the test is over, and the student will need to begin a new test. The incomplete test will not be scored. This accommodation (#25) must be listed in the student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan and specified for this assessment area.” Good Cause Exemptions FAQs Page 5 of 14 Updated April 23, 2018 For more information, see the MKAS2 -Accessibility-Features-and-TestingAccomodations document, linked from the right side of www.mde.k12.ms.us/mkas2.

What is the alternative standardized assessment approved by the State Board of Education?

The 3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment (MKAS2 ) is the standardized alternative assessment. For 2018-2019, the alternate assessment will be the 3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment produced by Questar Assessment Inc..

How do schools address students with excessive absences?

School personnel should work with the school attendance officer to communicate attendance policies with parents and ensure that parents understand the consequences of a student not passing the 3 rd Grade MAAP-ELA.

If a child is sick and misses the initial test period, will they have the opportunity to take the test during the retest window?

If a student consistently misses the test window, will they be retained in third grade by default? If the student is sick, they will take the test upon return during the designated testing window. A student who does not take the test nor the alternative assessment will be retained.

What can a school do if documentation of reading intervention is not available because the student was previously enrolled in another school?

Documentation is required and must be provided; therefore, the school must contact the student's previous school administration for documentation of prior reading intervention.

What can a school do if the student transfers from an out-of-state school, and there is no documentation of reading intervention available?

Immediately upon identification of a reading deficiency the school should develop an Individual Reading Plan (IRP) and begin the intervention process.

What is a Student Data Collection Worksheet?

This student information form, located in Appendix C of the LBPA Implementation Guide, contains all pertinent student information and is required documentation for Good Cause Exemption. This document is available on the right side of www.mdek12.org/literacy under Resources for Administrators.

Where can schools get the Individual Reading Plan Template?

This form is located in Appendix D of the LBPA Implementation Guide located on the right side of www.mdek12.org/literacy under Resources for Administrators. The Individual Reading Plan template may also be found in the MTSS Documentation Packet (Appendix E) which is available on the right side of http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/ESE/links/responseto-intervention-teacher-support-team under Resources.

What documentation must be kept for intervention and Good Cause Exemptions?

The forms that must be utilized are located in Appendices C, D, E and F of the LBPA Implementation Guide located on the right side of www.mdek12.org/literacy under Resources for Administrators. The school/district will maintain forms and supporting documentation. This documentation may be kept electronically, but it must be readily available for review by the MDE.

Who determines if intensive reading remediation has been delivered?

The district superintendent will determine if the documentation supports that intensive reading interventions have been provided in accordance with the Literacy Based Promotion Act requirements and accept or reject the principal’s recommendation in writing.

Will 3rd grade students who have an official diagnosis of dyslexia be allowed accommodations on the 3rd grade assessment?

Yes. On the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA, the extended accommodation for MAAP is not a per-question extension. Extended time is allowable, but students must complete the assessment before 3:00 p.m. or the end of the school day, whichever occurs first. Students with a documented diagnosis of dyslexia will also be allowed accommodations 24 and 25 on the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA which allows for testing over multiple sessions (#24) or multiple days (#25) (see the 2018 Accommodation 25 Stopping Points and Extended Time Guidance). On the 3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment a student who has a documented diagnosis of dyslexia or has an IEP or 504 Plan including an accommodation for extended-time (#20) will be allowed 20 minutes per question, and the test must be completed by 3:00 p.m. or the end of the school day, whichever occurs first. If the student is unable to continue the assessment, then the test administrator can stop the test; however, the test must be resumed and completed on the same day (#23) (see MS Accessibility Features and Testing Accommodations for the MKAS2 ).

Will students with dyslexia be allowed to track the text as they read, highlight the text during the assessment, and have paper provided in order to manipulate words and decode?

Yes. Students are allowed to use a tracker if needed and may be provided paper to decode text. Highlighting text is available for the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA assessment, but it is not an available option for the 3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment (MKAS2). See the MKAS2-Accessibility-Features-and-Testing Accomodations document, linked from the right side of www.mde.k12.ms.us/mkas2.

Do English Learners (ELs) who have been in a school in the United States for two years or longer have to pass the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA or the 3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment?

Yes. ELs who have been enrolled in a school in the United States for two years or more must pass the 3 rd grade reading assessment for promotion.

If a student is officially identified as an English Learner and has not been retained, how would he or she qualify for a Good Cause Exemption?

Good Cause Exemption A Good Cause Exemptions FAQs Page 7 of 14 Updated April 23, 2018 addresses ELs and does not require prior retention to be applied. ELs must pass the 3rd grade reading assessment for promotion to be promoted to fourth grade unless they have had less than two years of instruction in an English language program.

How can a student meet the requirement of the Literacy Based Promotion Act?

For 2017-2018, students may meet promotion requirements of the LBPA by:

  • earning a passing score (level 2 or above) on the multiple-choice portion of the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA Assessment.
  • achieving a scale score of 926 on either of the two retest opportunities on the 3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment.
  • achieving a composite score of Level 2 or higher on the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA Assessment after the writing is scored.
     

For 2018-2019, students may meet promotion requirements of the LBPA by:

  • earning a passing score (level 3 or above) on the multiple-choice portion of the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA Assessment.
  • achieving a passing score (level 3 or above) on either of the two retest opportunities on the 3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment.
  • achieving a composite score of Level 3 or higher on the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA Assessment after the writing is scored.

What is the pass/fail cut score for the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA?

For the 2017-2018 school year, students will be required to score at or above Level 2 on the online reading portion of the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA. Beginning 2018-2019, students will be required to score at or above Level 3 on the online reading portion of the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA.

Is there a timeline for requesting a Good Cause Exemption?

Schools should apply for Good Cause Exemptions after the initial test results determine that students did not pass the assessment. Therefore, a student who qualifies for a Good Cause Exemption should not take the alternative assessment (MKAS2 ).

What is the difference between Good Cause Exemption for general education students and students with disabilities?

Students with an IEP must have received two years of intensive reading intervention or have been retained at least once in Kindergarten, First, Second, or Third Grade – Good Cause Exemption C. General education students must have received two years of intensive reading intervention and have been retained two years total in Kindergarten, First, Second, or Third Grade – Good Cause Exemption E.

Who makes the final decision about Good Cause Exemptions?

The superintendent makes the final decision about Good Cause Exemptions. Prior to this decision, the teacher submits documentation to the principal. The principal shall review and discuss the recommendations with the teacher and parents and make a determination as to whether or not the student should be promoted based on requirements set forth in this Good Cause Exemptions FAQs Page 8 of 14 Updated April 23, 2018 chapter. If the principal determines that the student should be promoted, based on the documentation provided, the principal must make the recommendation in writing to the school district superintendent, who, in writing, may accept or reject the principal's recommendation

How does a teacher know whether to submit a Good Cause Exemption?

If the student fails the first test and meets one of the Good Cause Exemption criteria, then an exemption should be requested.

How does a school address students who have failed two years or more, and who have failed the 3rd grade reading assessment for promotion but did not qualify for a Good Cause Exemption?

This student should have received Tier III intervention and possibly a referral for a comprehensive assessment. If the student has been retained two or more years and has received intensive reading intervention, as required by State Board Policy Chapter 41, Rule 41.1, the student will qualify for Good Cause Exemption E.

For clarity, can two (2) years of retention include an impending retention during the current third-grade year?

No. The “impending retention” does not count. The two years of retention must have taken place prior to the current school year.

What constitutes a high-performing teacher? Is this determined by state assessment scores, promotion/retention rate, etc.?

A high-performing teacher is selected by the principal based upon successful student achievement (through the use of current and past assessment data) and classroom observation.

What is the role of the IEP Committee in Good Cause Exemptions?

An IEP Committee can decide services that impact the student's least restrictive environment (LRE) placement. The student must either pass the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA, 3rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment, or qualify for a Good Cause Exemption to be promoted to the Fourth Grade.

If an IEP Committee makes the decision to place a child in the next grade, does the Literacy-Based Promotion Act override the committee’s decision?

Yes. The IEP Committee cannot override the requirements of state law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does not address grade placement. Grade promotion and/or retention are not the same as “placement.” Placement is the program of services (specially-designed instruction)—i.e. regular education, self-contained, residential placement, day treatment, homebound, etc. The establishment of promotion or retention is governed by local/state-level policy.

Can students who have an IEP that reflects a single eligibility of Language/Speech and who have been retained one year qualify for a Good Cause Exemption?

Yes. Good Cause Exemptions FAQs Page 9 of 14 Updated April 23, 2018 They are students with an IEP and can be promoted under the Good Cause Exemption clause if they have had two years of intensive reading intervention.

Would a third grade student with a disability who has not been retained be eligible for Good Cause Exemption?

Yes. Students with a disability who participate in the state annual accountability assessment and who have an IEP or a Section 504 Plan that reflects that the individual student has received intensive remediation in reading for more than two (2) years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading or previously was retained in Kindergarten, First, Second or Third Grade may qualify for Good Cause Exemption C.

If a student becomes eligible for special education during third grade, has never been retained, has only received intensive intervention during third grade, would he/she qualify for a Good Cause Exemption?

No. The student will not qualify for a Good Cause Exemption because the student has not met the requirements of having two (2) years of documented intensive interventions.

Do students with disabilities who are NOT significantly cognitively disabled (SCD) have to be retained to qualify for a Good Cause Exemption if they have had two years of intensive reading intervention?

No. A student with a disability must have had two years of intervention OR have been retained for one year to qualify for a Good Cause Exemption.

If a student initially qualifies as a child with a disability under IDEA at any time during their third grade year, would the student then be eligible for the special education Good Cause Exemption?

Yes. If the student has an IEP and meets the additional requirements under Good Cause Exemption C, then the school would adhere to the special education requirements for Good Cause Exemptions for a student with an IEP. The exemption can only be applied once the IEP is in place for the student.

If a student is coded in MSIS as a "56" in a self-contained classroom but age-wise would be a third grade peer, should they be given the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA?

Yes. Students who are coded 56 are assigned an assessment grade-level as determined by peer age/peer grade according to the student’s age on September 1 of the current academic school year.

Does a student who has been determined SCD have to take the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA?

No. Students classified as SCD are not required to take the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA. These students will qualify under Good Cause Exemption B.

What can schools share with parents who are refusing for their students to participate in the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA statewide accountability assessment?

In accordance with state laws (MS Code 37-177-9) and (MS Code 37-16-3), the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA is required for promotion to fourth grade.

Will meetings be scheduled with parents of students being considered for a Good Cause Exemption?

The principal, teacher, and parent should work collaboratively to schedule an initial meeting to discuss the identified reading deficiency. An additional meeting and written notification should occur once there is a final decision on the Good Cause Exemption. Parents are to be involved throughout the process.

How will districts report the number and percentage of students who are retained and/or did not pass as a result of the 3 rd grade MAAP-ELA?

Schools will enter promotion and retention data and Good Cause Exemption data in MSIS. A report will be generated by the MDE and shared with districts for publication in local newspapers.

How will data for small groups of students be reported?

For small groups of students, the published reports will protect student identity in accordance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidance.

For a student who meets a Good Cause Exemption, will there be a requirement to note this or provide documentation to MDE?

Yes. Status of Good Cause Exemption will be reported electronically through MSIS. The school/district will maintain forms and supporting documentation for Good Cause Exemption determinations. The completed Good Cause Exemptions Summary Form, located in Appendix E of the LBPA Implementation Guide, must be placed in the student’s cumulative record. Supporting intervention documentation may be kept electronically, but it must be readily available for review by the MDE.

Does the 90 minutes of intervention during the regular school day have to be uninterrupted?

The Literacy Based Promotion Act requires ninety (90) minutes of intervention for students not promoted to 4th grade based on the 3 rd grade reading assessment results. It is recommended best practice that the ninety (90) minutes be uninterrupted, but it is not required to be delivered consecutively by law.

Where can we find sources for scientifically-based reading research?

The following sources may be considered when identifying resources to support literacy instruction:

  • The National Reading Panel Report (2000)
  •  International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading
  • What Works Clearinghouse: Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in K-3
  • International Literacy Association Standards (2010)

What qualifies as "intensive reading instruction"?

Intensive reading instruction is direct, explicit, systematic instruction that addresses the reading deficiency that has been identified and that is delivered with integrity and fidelity.

Could two years of being in the special education system prior to third grade be considered as two years of reading intervention?

Not necessarily. The decision is based on documentation of intensive reading intervention and not the fact that the child is receiving specially-designed instruction through special education. Special education placement does NOT qualify as intensive reading intervention.

Would after-school tutoring be considered a Good Cause Exemption intervention?

After-school tutoring provided at a school can be considered only if it adheres to the MTSS-RTI Tier III requirements, is coordinated by the school, is provided at no cost to the parent, and is documented in the student’s cumulative record.

How does a school document reading interventions for a student with an IEP?

Documentation for a student with a disability is the same as the documentation for a general education student. The forms are located in Appendices C, D, E, and F of the LBPA Implementation Guide located on the right side of www.mdek12.org/literacy under Resources for Administrators. The school/district will maintain forms and supporting documentation. This documentation may be kept electronically, but it must be readily available for review by the MDE.

Can the documented intensive reading interventions come from the resource classroom or do they have to come from the general education setting with or without special education support?

The documented intensive reading interventions may come from the resource teacher, general education teacher, or a combination of both

Are Tier II interventions considered intensive interventions?

No. Tier II interventions are not considered intensive interventions.

Do students have to be in Tier III to get a Good Cause Exemption?

Yes. Students in general education must be receiving Tier III intensive intervention in reading.

Is there a guideline to use to determine which of our students are not meeting the benchmark when taking the STAR Reading tests?

Schools should use progress monitoring data to identify students in need of intervention and support. As a point of reference, students who score below 40th percentile on STAR Reading tests should be considered for intervention or urgent intervention.

Who is responsible for providing interventions during the summer prior to the third retest?

Since the third retest will occur over the summer, parents may choose to provide support personally for the student but must submit documentation. The school or district may also offer support but are not obligated to provide summer remediation

If a student fails the third grade school year due to district requirements and is retained, but passed the 3rd grade reading assessment for promotion the previous year, does the student have to pass the test again the following year?

All students Good Cause Exemptions FAQs Page 12 of 14 Updated April 23, 2018 MUST take the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA assessment to satisfy state accountability testing requirements. If the 3rd grade student scored a Level 2 or above on MAAP or above a 926 on the 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment (MKAS2 ) in spring 2017, then that score may be used to apply Good Cause Exemption D in spring 2018 and used for promotion purposes.

Beginning 2018-2019, if students score a Level 3 or above on MAAP-ELA in spring 2018 then that score may be used to apply Good Cause Exemption D in spring 2019. No score from past MKAS2 administrations can be banked for 2018-2019 due to the change in promotion requirements.

Does the MDE have any research to support the practice of retention?

Is there any research that shows retaining students with a Specific Learning Disability in reading will improve reading skills? The State Legislature established the LiteracyBased Promotion Act. It is the job of the Mississippi Department of Education to ensure that the law is followed. We encourage districts to understand that it is not the intent of the law for retained students to have the same classroom experience when they repeat third grade. It is the intent of the law to provide students that fail with intensive reading intervention that includes effective instructional strategies and appropriate teaching methodologies necessary to assist the student in becoming a successful reader, able to read at or above grade level, and ready for promotion to the next grade.

Can parents choose to have their child retained if the superintendent approves promotion based on the Good Cause Exemption?

Yes. Parents can request that their child be retained even if the child qualifies for a Good Cause Exemption.

Will a student who makes a 2 or above on the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA Composite be eligible for promotion during the 2017-2018 school year?

Yes. The 3rd Grade MAAPELA Reading Sub-score, the 3 rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment (MKAS2 ) or the 3 rd Grade MAAP-ELA Composite may be used to determine whether a student met the promotion criteria of the Literacy-Based Promotion Act. Beginning in 2018-2019, students must score a level 3 or higher to be considered for promotion.

In accordance with the law, interventions must occur in school districts for retained third grade students. Are schools and districts required to offer transportation and summer school?

No. Additional transportation or summer school programs are not required by the law. Interventions should occur during the school year and prior to the first retest window, which is also during the school year. While the law allows for summer reading camps, schools are not required to use this approach. Students must receive interventions during the summer prior to the second retest. Interventions must be documented before the retest occurs, and those interventions may be done at the school during a summer program, or parents can send documentation that interventions have taken place.

On the test, will the student be required to answer a question on a higher level of difficulty when he/she has answered the question correctly?

No. The 3 rd Grade MAAP-ELA consists of items that are written to address the Grade 3 Mississippi College- and Career-Readiness Standards for English Language Arts. However, the 3 rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment (MKAS2 ) is an adaptive test; therefore, if a student answers an item correctly, the difficulty level of the item will increase but will not surpass the Grade 3 Mississippi College- and Career-Readiness Standards for English Language Arts.

Will each question receive the same number of points?

No. The questions on the 3 rd Grade MAAP-ELA Assessment are worth either 1 or 2 points depending on the item type. Closed-ended items are worth one point, and open-ended items are worth two points. More specific information about the item types can be found in the Mississippi Assessment Program English Language Arts, Grades 3-8 Blueprint Interpretive Guide. For the 3 rd Grade Reading Alternative Assessment, the questions are weighted based on the difficulty level of each item.

Will the score reports for the 3 rd Grade MAAP-ELA be a pass/fail roster or a detailed report?

For the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA, districts will receive a pass/fail roster, and parents will receive an individual student score report in time to identify students who will need to retest.

What should the Test Administrator or Proctor do if a student cannot get through the practice questions on the K-Readiness Assessment?

Districts are encouraged to reference the Mississippi Accessibility Features and Testing Accommodations for the MKAS2 document for accessibility features available for students who experience difficulty answering questions on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, which may also include the ability to answer practice questions. Specifically, number 70 on the Accessibility Features states, “Student will dictate or gesture the answers to Scribe, and Scribe will mark answers directly into online test system in the presence of Test Administrator and Proctor." Scribes may read the practice questions and should ensure that practice questions are answered correctly so that students may gain access to the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. When the assessment begins, the Scribe must record student answers to establish a baseline and determine next steps for addressing deficiencies.

If a student transfers before the 3rd Grade MAAP-ELA is administered & reenters the district after the beginning of the following school year, then this student is placed in 4th grade based on academic information from the previous school.

What if a student enrolls in fourth grade, coming from a homeschool, private school, or other setting? In accordance with Standard 7 of the Mississippi Public School Good Cause Exemptions FAQs Page 14 of 14 Updated April 23, 2018 Accountability Standards, 2014, any transfer student from a school or program (correspondence, tutorial, or home study) not accredited regionally or by a state board of education [or its designee(s)] is given either a standardized achievement test(s) or teacher-made special subject test(s) to determine the appropriate classification of the student within thirty (30) days after filing for transfer. Notice of the administering of such test(s) shall be given to the applicant not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the administration of such test.

Does a student who transfers from out-of-state qualify for a Good Cause Exemption?

A student enrolling in Fourth Grade from a regionally or state board accredited school would simply enroll in fourth grade. For students enrolling in fourth grade as a transfer from homeschool, private school, or some other setting, please see the response to question 61.

The LBPA Implementation Guide recommends a transition class after third grade.

Will MDE provide any guidance or suggestions about the implementation of this type of class? Yes. Please visit http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/elementary-educationand-reading-library/guidelines-for-transition-and-intensive-accelerationclasses_20170406162650_536208.pdf?sfvrsn=2 for guidance.

Dyslexia

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin.  It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.  These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.  Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. 

What do I do if I think my child has dyslexia?

Contact your child’s school and request a TST meeting.  The TST is a problem-solving team that consists of parent, teacher, administrator, and others, who look at the available data and discuss the child’s academic performance.  This team will decide what appropriate interventions should be put in place to address the student’s deficits.

Is the school responsible for evaluating a student for dyslexia?

No, however each local school district shall adopt a policy to ensure that students will be screened by a screener approved by the State Board of Education in the spring of Kindergarten and the fall of Grade 1.  The screener must consist of phonological and phonemic awareness, sound/symbol recognition, alphabet knowledge, decoding skills, encoding skills and rapid naming.  If a student fails the screener, the parent or legal guardian will be notified.  The school district, in its discretion, may perform a comprehensive dyslexia evaluation, however, this is not required and is a decision to be made by the district.

Once a student receives a dyslexia diagnosis, what is the responsibility of the school/district in-regards to this diagnosis?

Each local school district shall develop interventions and strategies to address the needs of a student diagnosed with dyslexia and provide the necessary accommodations to enable the student to achieve appropriate educational progress allowing the student to become college and/or career ready upon graduation.

Who is qualified to diagnose a student with dyslexia?

According to House Bill 1046, districts must accept dyslexia evaluations may be administered by licensed professionals including, psychologists, psychometrists, or speech language pathologists.

If a student is diagnosed with dyslexia does he/she automatically receive special education services?

No, each local school district shall make an initial determination whether a student with dyslexia qualifies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to receive services and funding under the provisions of the IDEA.  If the student is ineligible for special education services, then the local district may decide if a 504 Plan is warranted.

If a student does not qualify for special education services, yet has a dyslexia diagnosis, what services, if any, will he/she receive?

Students with a dyslexia diagnosis are provided services in the general education setting through the three-tier model and the intervention process.  Schools may utilize the information that is provided in the diagnosis documentation to help target interventions.

Is it possible for a student with dyslexia to struggle in mathematics?

It is possible for a dyslexic student to struggle in his/her math class.  A dyslexic student may have difficulty with math facts, multi-step problems, and directionality, just to name a few areas that may be of concern.  Math teachers may provide accommodations in the general education classroom.  Continued communication with your child’s math teacher is recommended.

If a student is dyslexic does that mean he/she also has Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, or Attention Deficit Disorder?

An individual can have more than one learning or behavioral disorder. Although disabilities may co-occur, one is not the cause of the other.  In various studies 50% of those diagnosed with a learning or reading disability have also been diagnosed with ADHD. 

Gifted Education Program

Are all children gifted?

No, while all children have gifts and talents, not all children are gifted.  Gifted children are identified by their incredible intellectual, creative, and problem solving abilities.

Are all children gifted?

No, while all children have gifts and talents, not all children are gifted.  Gifted children are identified by their incredible intellectual, creative, and problem solving abilities.

 

What is asynchronous development?

Asynchronous development refers to uneven intellectual, physical, and emotional development. Gifted children think above their age level, but may act younger than their physical age, especially when dealing with intense emotions. This asynchronous development is the definition of intellectually gifted learners. Gifted brains develop differently than the norm which is why ideas can come easily, but making friends or communicating emotions may be difficult.

What are characteristics of gifted children?

Gifted children often ask unforeseen questions, make unusual connections between ideas, and overflow with creativity. For more information on characteristics of intellectually, academically, and creatively gifted children see: http://www.bertiekingore.com/high-gt-create.htm.

Are gifted children always academically successful?

No, some gifted students make good grades easily, but others struggle academically, or have specific learning needs. Gifted students who require academic supports should continue to receive gifted services. 

What is the purpose of gifted education programs?

Gifted children have unique intelligence with exceptional abilities and high potential. Because of these learning needs, a different learning experience, not available in the general education setting, is necessary. Gifted Education Programs pull gifted learners into small groups for up to five hours each week. The goal of programming is to equip them with skills to reach their potential and to support their intellectual, social, and emotional development. 

How is eligibility for gifted education programs determined?

Anyone can refer a student for a gifted program assessment. This begins the referral to placement process. The school district gathers evidence of the student’s intellectual abilities. If requirements are met, the student is given an individual intelligence test with a licensed professional. If the student meets the requirements for gifted eligibility, they are placed in the gifted education program. 

If a child moves to a new school district, do they have to meet gifted eligibility requirements again?

In Mississippi, once a child is ruled eligible for gifted services, they can be served in all of Mississippi’s public school districts. They do not have to repeat the referral to placement process. 

Where can I find more information about gifted programming?

For more information about gifted education program eligibility see the Regulations for Gifted Education Programs 2013. For more information on gifted education programs see the Standards for Gifted Education Programs 2013.

How does a teacher earn licensure in gifted education?

Teachers interested in gifted endorsement must complete an approved program from an institution of higher learning. For more information call educator licensure at 601.359.3483 or Jen Cornett, Gifted Education Specialist, at 601.359.2586.

Early Childhood

What licensure is required to teach pre-kindergarten/special education preschool?

By fall 2018, early childhood educators of four-year-old children must hold a Pre-K - K (153) Mississippi teaching license or an Elementary Education K - 3 (116), Elementary Education K - 4 (152), or Elementary Education K - 6 (120) with a supplemental Nursery - Grade 1 (150) endorsement. No alternative route certifications will be accepted. Master teachers, teachers, or assistant teachers in participating Pre-K programs must meet the guidelines in Mississippi Code Section 37-21-3.

A teacher shall possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, child development, or an equivalent field. A teacher may also possess a bachelor's degree in any field as well as have at least twelve (12) credit hours of coursework in early childhood education, child development, or an equivalent field approved by an institution granting a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, child development, or an equivalent field; or have a bachelor's degree in any field as well as have completed a specialized early childhood training program deemed equivalent by the Mississippi Department of Education to twelve (12) hours of approved coursework. Special Education licensed teachers who want to teach general education pre-kindergarten must have at least nine (9) hours in Early Childhood Education.

Which students are required to take the MKAS?

All students attending Early Learning Collaborative sites,  public pre-kindergarten programs, public kindergarten, and pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students with disabilities are required to take the MKAS except those who meet the following criteria: (a) students who have a significant cognitive disability (SCD), (b) students who are deaf, (c) students who are blind, and (d) students who are deaf-blind.

If a student has moved to our district since the fall administration of the MKAS, do we have to give it to them in the spring? What is the process if a student transfers from one school to another in the same district?

Yes, all students will take the MKAS.  If a student enrolls after the fall pre-testing window closes, the State Portal can be opened to allow the student to take the pre-test. If a student transfers from one school to another school in the same district before August 28, the RDI process will automatically place the student in the correct school, as long as the information system reflects this change before August 28. If the student transfers after August 28 then the student will have to be manually provisioned at the new school site.
If the student has been added to the MKAS site and they have not taken the assessment, you will simply need to log that student into the MKAS site with their MSIS number and use the daily test code for the school the student is now enrolled in, once the student is finished taking the assessment, they will be enrolled in the new school.

How do we fund a pre-kindergarten class in our district?

To establish a pre-kindergarten classroom please review the Mississippi Guide to Starting a Pre-K Classroom

Are administrators required to obtain 15 hours of professional development every year?

All teaching staff (teachers and assistant teachers) and program administrators shall annually complete at least fifteen (15) hours of professional development for program instructional staff specific to the education of pre-kindergarten children. This variety of content could include program administration, parent engagement, and instructional content approved by the Mississippi Department of Education and/or Mississippi Department of Health. 

Does the early childhood staff review transcripts?

Yes, the early childhood staff reviews transcripts of teachers who did not major in early childhood education.  The early childhood staff reviews transcripts to check whether teachers have taken the 12 hours required to teach pre-kindergarten.  For a list of approved courses by university please use the following link: http://www.mdek12.org/docs/elementary-education-and-reading-library/approved-credentialing-courses-and-programs.pdf?sfvrsn=2 

"Is there a pay scale for pre-kindergarten teachers? "

Please review the link to teacher pay scale in Mississippi: http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/OSFS/TSS
You can also find more information about teaching in Mississippi by visiting the Mississippi Teacher Center webpage at http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/OTC 

Individual Reading Plan (IRP)

Is the IRP required for all students?

No. The IRP is required for any public school student (K-3) who, at any time, exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading, as well as any student who was promoted to 4th grade with a good cause exemption. An IRP is not required for students with disabilities who are classified as having a Significant Cognitive Disability (SCD).

Is an IRP required for EL students who have been identified as having a “substantial reading deficiency”?

Yes. All students (K-3) who, at any time, exhibit a substantial reading deficiency, as well as students who were promoted to 4th grade with a good cause exemption are required to have an IRP.

Is each school district mandated to use the IRP template developed by the MDE?

No. The law does not mandate a specific format, only that the format include all required components of the IRP as provided within the MDE template and required by law (SB 2157). All services must be appropriately documented in writing. Note: Your district may adapt/customize the MTSS documentation for Tier III to include the IRP components.

Is the IRP now a requirement in addition to the IEP?

Yes. In accordance with Section 37-177-1, the IRP is required for students (K-3) who, at any time, exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading, as well as students who were promoted to 4th grade with a good cause exemption. The IRP is not a part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Who is responsible for implementing the IRP for students with disabilities?

The teacher providing reading instruction to the student is responsible for implementing the IRP. A student with a disability may receive reading instruction from the general education teacher and the special education teacher, including Inclusion and/or Resource. In this case, the student’s general education teacher and special education teacher should work together to implement the IRP.

If a student has a 504 Plan and receives intensive therapy in the dyslexia program, does he/she still need the IRP?

Yes. All public school students (K-3) who, at any time, exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading, as well as students who were promoted to 4th grade with a good cause exemption are required to have an IRP.

Is an IRP required for K-3 students receiving special education services who are classified as having a Significant Cognitive Disability (SCD) and who take the alternate assessment?

No. Students classified as having a Significant Cognitive Disability qualify for Good Cause Exemption (GCE) B for “students with disabilities whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) indicates that participation in the statewide accountability assessment program is not appropriate, as authorized under state law”. Therefore, a student who meets the criteria for GCE “B” would not be required to have an IRP.

What is the role of the Speech Language Pathologist and/or the special education teacher in the IRP team, when the student also has an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?

It is recommended that the development of an IRP be a team approach. In addition, it is recommended that the Speech Language Pathologist and/or the special education teacher be an integral part of the team that writes the IRP for a student with an Individualized Education Program.

Are students who did not pass the 3rd grade assessment required to have a minimum of 90 minutes for interventions in addition to their core reading block?

No. The 90-minute core reading instruction requirement is included in the instructional day; however, it is included as one of the minimum requirements. Retained students, students promoted for Good Cause, and any K3 student for which a reading deficiency has been identified through a screener and other diagnostic measures must also have an Individual Reading Plan. Interventions addressing the deficiencies must also be documented.

If a student requires an IRP, can we skip Tier II and move the student straight to Tier III?

Yes. Students with a significant reading deficiency requiring an IRP should be considered Tier III students.

If a student moves out of the "red and yellow" as determined by Star Progress Monitoring, should the intensive interventions cease immediately?

No. Star Progress Monitoring is a tool to help identify potential students who need support. Once a student has been identified, it is recommended that additional diagnostic information be gathered to make the determination for intervention. Follow the MTSS model for providing tiered support to each student. In addition, progress monitoring for Tier II and III should be completed as recommended by the MTSS model to determine if students are progressing or regressing between levels based on the effectiveness of the intervention(s). Multiple measures should be used to determine which students need intervention or when to remove a student from intensive intervention services (Tier III).

When should an IRP be completed for a kindergarten student?

It is recommended that an IRP be completed for a kindergarten student after results from both the beginning-of-year screener and the first progress monitoring assessment, which typically occurs in September, have been administered. Once a student has been identified, it is recommended that additional diagnostic information be gathered to make the determination for intervention. Therefore, multiple data points should be used to determine substantial reading deficiencies.

Who is responsible for developing the IRP?

This will be a district decision. Typically, the Teacher Support Team (TST) will be responsible for developing the IRP. If the student has an IEP, it is recommended that the student’s special education teacher and/or Speech Language Pathologist be a part of the team developing the IRP.

When should the IRP be completed?

The law requires that students identified with a substantial reading deficiency be given intensive reading instruction and intervention immediately following the identification of the deficiency. The current requirements for Part 3, Chapter 41: Intervention state, “After a referral is made, the TST must develop and begin implementation of an intervention(s) within 2 weeks." Follow the MTSS model and your local district tier process for determining placement in Tier II or Tier III interventions.

Does IRP documentation remain at the district level or should it be submitted to the MDE?

IRP documentation should be housed at the school/classroom in which the student receives reading instruction. If a student with an IEP is receiving reading instruction in the general education classroom and the special education classroom, both teachers should have a copy of the IRP. Note: In the event of an audit, documentation may be requested for review.

Should a new IRP be completed at the beginning of each school year?

Yes. Each year, student data should be used to determine whether a student will need an IRP.

Where should the IRP be archived at the end of the year?

In accordance with State Board Policy Chapter 3, Rule 41.1, Intervention, the IRP is a component of the MTSS documentation and should be stored with those documents.

Are the IRP and Good Cause Exemption documentation packets available for digital input and storage?

Yes. Both are available in digital PDF

Can the MTSS documentation packet be used in place of the Individual Reading Plan (IRP) for students in grades K-4?

Yes. The MTSS documentation packet addresses all of the requirements of the IRP; all components are addressed in the forms and Appendix E of the MTSS Documentation Packet.

How often should parents be notified in writing that their child has a substantial reading deficiency?

Parents should be notified in writing immediately upon the determination of a reading deficiency, and subsequently with each quarterly progress report until the deficiency is remediated.

Does the IRP serve a dual purpose as the notification form to parents as required by law?

No. The parent notification letter is a different document. The IRP is not intended to serve as parental notification; however, it is recommended that the IRP be shared with parents.

Should the IRP documentation be discussed with the parent at a meeting or sent home with the student?

It is recommended that the designated individual or team meet with the parent to discuss the IRP.

Is parental participation required in the development of an IRP for students with disabilities?

No. The IRP does not require the participation of a parent as the IRP is not a requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Office of Special Education (OSE) recommends that the district send a cover letter along with the required IRP parent notification letter explaining what an IRP is and is not.

What should be included in the written Parent Notification Letter when a substantial reading deficiency has been determined?

If a K-3 student is identified with a substantial reading deficiency, parents must be notified by the student’s teacher in writing of the following:

  • That the student has been identified as having a substantial deficiency in reading;
  • A description of the services that the school district currently is providing to the student;
  • A description of the proposed supplemental instructional services and supports that are designed to remediate the identified area of reading deficiency which the school district plans to provide the student, as outlined in the student's Individual Reading Plan;
  • That if the student's reading deficiency is not remediated before the end of the student's Third-Grade year, the student will not be promoted to Fourth Grade unless a good cause exemption specified under Section 37-177-11 is met.

How should progress monitoring be conducted?

Progress monitoring should be done with specific probes that monitor students’ progress on the exact skill or deficiency that is being addressed through interventions. If the probe is too broad, growth may not be clearly evident (See FAQ #27 for a recommended timeline).

How often should progress monitoring be performed?

According to the law, teachers must collect baseline data in August via a state-approved screener and monitor the progress of each student at the middle and end of the year. In accordance with MTSS guidelines, it is recommended that progress monitoring occur according to the following timeline:

  • Tier I – Formal monthly progress monitoring;
  • Tier II – Bi-weekly progress monitoring; and,
  • Tier III – Weekly progress monitoring.

Can teachers use STAR Early Literacy as progress monitoring twice a month, or should they be using another progress monitoring instrument?

Yes. Star Early Literacy is available for use as a progress monitoring tool. The state has procured the Renaissance Suite of assessments for Kindergarten – 3rd grade students. However, the progress monitoring instrument selected should be specific to the student’s identified deficit and subsequent intervention. Note: Subscriptions for STAR Early Literacy are limited. Please see your administrator for availability.

Can teachers use STAR Early Literacy as progress monitoring twice a month, or should they be using another progress monitoring instrument?

Yes. Star Early Literacy is available for use as a progress monitoring tool. The state has procured the Renaissance Suite of assessments for Kindergarten – 3rd grade students. However, the progress monitoring instrument selected should be specific to the student’s identified deficit and subsequent intervention. Note: Subscriptions for STAR Early Literacy are limited. Please see your administrator for availability.

How is a substantial reading deficiency identified?

A substantial deficiency in reading may be defined through performance on a reading screener approved or developed by the State Department of Education or through locally determined assessments and teacher observations conducted in grades K-3, through statewide end of the year assessments or approved alternate yearly assessments in grade 3.

How is a substantial reading deficiency identified?

A substantial deficiency in reading may be defined through performance on a reading screener approved or developed by the State Department of Education or through locally determined assessments and teacher observations conducted in grades K-3, through statewide end of the year assessments or approved alternate yearly assessments in grade 3.

What is a substantial reading deficiency?

A susbstantial reading deficiency is For example, a score in the Intervention or Urgent Intervention category, as set by Renaissance Learning, MAY represent a “substantial deficiency” in reading. Schools/Districts using other assessments should review the recommended guidelines for that assessment to determine what constitutes a “substantial deficiency”. Additional diagnostic assessments and/or other indicators should also be used to determine specific deficit areas so that interventions are tailored to address those needs.

What is a substantial reading deficiency?

A substantial reading deficiency is For example, a score in the Intervention or Urgent Intervention category, as set by Renaissance Learning, MAY represent a “substantial deficiency” in reading. Schools/Districts using other assessments should review the recommended guidelines for that assessment to determine what constitutes a “substantial deficiency”. Additional diagnostic assessments and/or other indicators should also be used to determine specific deficit areas so that interventions are tailored to address those needs.

If more than one component of reading is identified as deficient or multiple skills are indicated as deficiencies, which deficiency should be addressed and documented?

Each deficiency should be addressed; however, immediate attention and interventions should be given to the most basic foundational area(s) with which the student is struggling and progress accordingly.

May the identification of a “substantial reading deficiency” occur at any point during the school year?

Yes. A substantial reading deficiency may be identified during progress monitoring or any subsequent screening windows. If a student scores below the designated benchmark on formal or informal reading assessments, then he/she may need am IRP. Please consult with the Teacher Support Team (TST) for further guidance.

Textbook Adoption and Procurement

Please explain this from the meeting e-mail: “Bid Submission Updates: a Program title vs. a Pricing Option for that title”

In years past, and recently, publishers would submit multiple iterations of the same instructional program or textbook as separate titles, thus submitting more than one title per category. That will have to change this year. On pages 5 and 6 of the 2017-2018 call, it notes that publishers can only submit one program per instructional category:

Publishers may only bid one textbook/program in each category. Categories have multiple grade levels. If a book/program covers multiple grade levels within a category, please bid that textbook/program once (only send in one bid for that textbook/program). If the textbook/program is grade level specific within a category, publishers can submit the textbook/program for bid in each grade level per category and the textbook/program will be considered as “one” textbook/program”.

Textbooks/Programs come in a variety of formats; print, digital, web based (with different licensing durations), consumable workbooks, etc. It is essentially the same content, presented in different formats or iterations. These different iterations maybe informative for districts when considering the best pricing option for their students and teachers, but are not necessary for the evaluation process. Our evaluation process this year will not allow for a review of the different formats or pricing options for programs, only the program content. So we are more closely monitoring the submission of instructional materials/textbook programs to help the review committees to not have to review the same program more than once.

What ratings from the Evaluation Rubric will allow for the titles to be State Adopted?

Only the titles that have an Alignment to Standards rating of 5 will be listed on the Adoption List, per state regulations. A score of 5 indicates at least 80% alignment to the standards in the estimation of the review committee. Those adopted titles will then have notes about their ratings concerning Instructional Support, Usability, and Assessment. For those titles that do not have an Alignment to Standards rating of 5, publishers are free to request the evaluations from the review committee members. The ratings from the review committee member are final. Districts are not required to purchase titles on the State Adoption list.

Will AP and all electives be up for adoption in 2017-2018?

Yes, All AP and elective courses in the 2017 MS College and Career Readiness Standards for Science will be up for adoption in the 2017-2018 adoption cycle.

The Adoption Calendar sent out references both State Framework Correlations and MS College and Career-Readiness Standards Correlations. However, the Call to Bid only mentions the CCRS.

The State Standards and the College and Career readiness standards are one in the same for Science and the Arts.

Is there a link where I can find student enrollment numbers for the subject areas being called for adoption this year?

You will have to request that information from our reporting department. Send an e-mail to them at reporting@mdek12.org.

What does the “DC” mean in front of some of the courses up for adoption, see below. Could you send me an explanation? 907152 DC - PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY I

Dual Credit- Those are college courses, taught by teachers/professors approved by local colleges, that high school students can take and receive both high school and college credit for. They are not up for adoption, because the colleges select the texts for those courses.

We’re curious if the 8/21 meeting will be broadcast online, or only in person?

The presentations will be available on line after the meeting.

For the upcoming Science and Arts adoption, may the same product/program be submitted for multiple courses? For example, may the same Theatre textbook be submitted for all Theatre courses, Level I, II, III, and IV?

Yes, bid the title once, on one bid, with the grade range 9-12.

Are districts required to purchase textbooks from the State Adoption List?

Procurement rules of the State of Mississippi do not require local school districts to purchase textbooks with public money from the official State Adoption List. Textbook purchase decisions are determined local by districts, not the state.

Will you be providing contact information including email addresses for the schools?

Addresses and other contact information for districts can be found online at mdek12.org under the “MS Schools” link on the home page. Keep in mind publishers are not required to send products to schools, only at their will and pleasure.

Can you tell me if Mississippi is calling for AP art in the 2018 art and science adoption?

Yes, AP titles for the Arts are included in the Arts adoption for 2018. The review committees will review AP titles according to the art discipline.

What is reasonable to include in the examination copy material concerning the science manipulatives or kits for grades K-8?

Publishers are asked to submit for review only the most necessary contents of any K-8 science kits that will give the review committees a good understanding of the instructional program being bid. Once the Examination Copies are received by the Textbook Office (deadline September 22), they will be inspected for consistency and conciseness. Publishers will be notified if it is deemed that the examination copy material is excessive. Publishers will have the opportunity to present to the review committees the full scope of their materials at the State Rating Committee meetings on September 28-29, 2017.

Will the prices listed on the Pricing Options Form be Contract prices, subject to the procurement rules of the State of Mississippi?

Yes, the prices listed on the Pricing Options Form will be contract prices, subject to the rules of procurement listed in the Call for Bids. Thus, publishers are encouraged to be as comprehensive as possible in the pricing options that are listed therein. Keep in mind that the state contract for adopted titles is a 5 year contract with an option for two more years. Therefore, price those items /materials/licenses/and services accordingly. The prices cannot change over the course of the contracted period, even if the contract is extended the optional years.

Will professional development be a part of this adoption? If so do you want information on that to be submitted with the bid?

Professional development is expected as a part of what the publishers will provide in support of their products. The professional development offerings won’t necessarily be needed for the review of the program, so it’s not necessary for them to be listed on the official bid form (Form C) but should be listed in the free with order listings (Form D) of the Electronic Bid Packet.

Will there be a caravan and/or presentation? If there is a caravan will it be for AP only or will it also be for on-level texts as well?

Yes, there will be a Textbook Caravan (refer to the Textbook Adoption Calendar for Publishers Listed in the Call for Bids). The Caravan will allow for publisher presentations for general and AP titles.

Is Mississippi considered a closed state (blackout) during this review?

Yes. Publishers are to have no contact with districts for 35 days after the caravan. Please refer to the Textbook Adoption Calendar for Publishers in the Call for Bids.

I am getting ready to submit the Intent to Bid but just want to clarify that on Section Two Instructional Categories Indicate the Number of Products means titles not pricing options.

Yes. Pricing Options are to be submitted on the pricing options form found on the textbook website

Is the Instructional Category the same as the Grade Level?

The Instructional Categories are the 3 categories listed in the Call for bids – Dance and Theater k-12, Music (Instrumental, General, and Choral) K-12, and Visual Arts K-12.

Do you have a sample completed bid to view?

The tighter bid guidelines are new for this year, but the PowerPoint from the Publisher’s orientation meeting held on August 21st, 2017, found on the textbook website, lays out specifically the expectations for bid submission.

Will the entire caravan be required or will we be able to attend on certain dates?

Publishers with adopted materials are not required to go on the caravan. But, should a company decide to go, they must agree to attend all sites.

Would a submission that adheres to the NGSS standards be reviewed for the 80% rule or would you consider that an un-responsive submission?

All submissions will be reviewed for 80% alignment to the 2018 Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards for Science. Publishers are allowed to submit a correlation guide to show alignment to the Mississippi Standards. If the resource is not 80% aligned in the view of the review committee, it will not be adopted.

I know districts are not required to procure off the State Adoption List, however, could districts be prevented from procuring if the titles were rejected by the adoption committee?

No. Districts make purchasing decisions concerning textbooks and other instructional materials. The State will not prevent any district from purchasing any material the district chooses to purchase.

Publishers can only bid one textbook/program in each category. What does this mean?

The title constitutes a specific instructional program from a publisher, including series that span sequentially through the grades. This is mostly common in grades k-8. For high school electives, publishers can submit one title for each course, with AP versions of certain courses counting as separate courses.

Dyslexia Scholarship

What is the criteria for a student to be eligible to receive the dyslexia scholarship at a special purpose non-public school?

  1.  Student must have a diagnosis of dyslexia, administered by a licensed psychologist, psychometrist, or speech language pathologist, as stated in House Bill 1031 (2012).
  2.  Student must have been accepted for enrollment at a state accredited special purpose nonpublic school that meets all the requirements listed above.
  3. Parent must complete the Dyslexia Therapy Program / Scholarship Application and submits to the MDE no later than July 15th for the upcoming school year.
  4. Application packet must include the completed application, proof of enrollment, verification of diagnosis, and a tuition/fee schedule.
  5. The student must have been enrolled in a public school during the previous school year.  Note that the student must have been enrolled at the time that average daily attendance (ADA) was determined for the public school systems.

If a parent is interested in obtaining the dyslexia scholarship what should they do?

Parents should complete the Dyslexia Therapy Program / Scholarship Application  found at http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/ESE/dyslexia and submit the required information to the MDE Office of Elementary Education and Reading via certified mail,  Attention: Dyslexia 

What are the MDE schools approved for the special purpose, non-public schools? 

1. Magnolia Speech School, Jackson, MS
2. New Summit, Jackson, MS
3. North New Summit, Greenwood, MS
4. TIDE School, Hattiesburg, MS
5. The 3-D School, Petal, MS

What qualifies a school to be a special purpose non-public school?

a) Be accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) as a special purpose nonpublic school;
b) Use licensed dyslexia therapists or individuals participating in an approved training program (resulting in MDE licensure) to provide dyslexia therapy to students diagnosed with dyslexia;
c) Use daily Orton-Gillingham-based therapy;
d) Have school leadership trained in dyslexia; and
e) Have a current School Program Verification and Assurances form on file with the MDE Office of Curriculum and Instruction.

How much money is awarded for the scholarship each year?

The award amount is determined on a year-by-year basis with a proportionate amount generated under federal and state programs.  The money goes directly to the non-public school.

Can a student qualify for a Dyslexia Scholarship and an Educational Scholarship Account?

No