MCSD News

  • September - 2020
  • 23
    Mercedes Parham

    We need your help with the 2020 Census count!

    Columbus still remains below the state and national response rates. 80,000 uncounted households equals approximately $120 million each year for the next 10 years in lost funding for city. That could negatively affect our funding for:

    • Title I schools
    • After-school programs
    • School breakfast and lunch programs
    • Pre-K/early learning centers
    • Special education
    • Professional development for our employees
    Can we count on you? Complete the Census HERE before September 30, 2020.


    Safety expectations for in-person students:

    • Stay home if you/your student(s) are displaying any signs or symptoms of illness.
    • If your student tests positive for COVID-19, do not send him/her to school until the following criteria is met:
      • At least 10 days have passed since the student first displayed symptoms AND
      • The student has had no fever without fever reducing medicines (e.g. Tylenol, Advil, etc.) for 48 hours AND
      • The student is no longer displaying symptoms
    • If someone in your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or your child is exposed to someone who has COVID-19, do not send him/her to school until 14 days after their last exposure to the person with COVID-19 (note: The CDC defines exposure as being within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more with someone who has COVID-19).
    • Wear face masks or coverings at all District sites.
    • Observe District social distancing guidelines upon entry.
    • Avoid direct contact with District staff and other guests.
    • Wash or sanitize hands before entering the building, before meals, after bathroom breaks, after sneezing/coughing, and frequently throughout the instructional day.
    • Avoid sharing personal items such as pens, pencils, devices, etc. to prevent cross-contamination.
    Review information from the CDC for further guidance:


    Choice model declaration changes

    • Changes for in-person or virtual instruction are not permitted during the nine-weeks grading period or semester (block schedule).
    • Parents can request changes to apply for the next grading period/semester now through 12:00 noon, October 7, 2020.
    • Changes will be effective at the start of the next grading period/semester on October 13, 2020.
    • Parents should submit change requests directly to each student’s assigned school before the deadline.

    Resources:


    View the latest updates related to the District's COVID-19 plans HERE

  • 21
    Mercedes Parham

    Columbus, GA- In an effort to provide transparency to its public stakeholders, the Muscogee County School District has released data related to active COVID-19 cases. Data reflects information made available to the District from individual sources. Information will be updated each Monday and accessible on the District’s COVID-19 website.

    Muscogee County School District COVID-19 active cases
    Week of September 14-18, 2020
    Category Description

    #

    Total enrolled students

    30,772

    Student positive cases

    2

    New student self-quarantine or isolation cases

    15

    Total employees

    5,175

    Employee positive cases

    0

    New employee self-quarantine or isolation cases

    17



    Totals within each data set reflect active cases reported to the District within the specified week of each report. Student cases account for both in-person and virtual instruction models. All active cases are monitored in coordination with the Department of Public Health to prevent the spread of illness.

    The District will continue to monitor data regarding COVID-19 within our local community, under the advisement of our public health agencies.

    The mission of the Muscogee County School District is to inspire and equip all students to achieve unlimited potential. For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at 706.748.2034 or communications@muscogee.k12.ga.us.

    # # #

  • 21
    Mercedes Parham

    Watch a message from our Superintendent HERE

    National GEAR UP week activities hosted by Columbus State University

    Monday, September 21 | 6:00 p.m.

    Virtual Game Night

    Tuesday, September 22 | 6:00 p.m.

    Career Exploration Series: Georgia Film Academy


    Wednesday, September 23 | various times

    Virtual College Visits

    Thursday, September 24 |6:00 p.m.

    Building Your Brag Sheet for Scholarships, College Admissions & Employment

    Friday, September 25 | 6:00 p.m.

    How to Ask & Receive Great Letters of Recommendation

    For more information about GEAR UP, contact Randalette Williams, williams_randalette@columbusstate.edu, 706-565-1315

  • 18
    Mercedes Parham

    Watch a message from our Superintendent HERE

    Complete the Census: https://my2020census.gov/

    REMINDER: Phase two of the choice model re-opening phase-in plan starts Monday, September 21, 2020.

    All students in grades Pre-K-12 will proceed with the choice model based on their declarations for in-person or virtual instruction. Students without a declaration on record will be marked for in-person instruction.

    What to expect/remember for in-person return:

    • Arrival: Each school will conduct temperature checks and review students for any signs/symptoms of illness. Please arrive early to ensure safety checks are conducted in a timely manner.
    • Bathroom breaks/hallway transitions: Breaks and transitions will be directed by each school to limit contact between individuals.
    • Breakfast/lunch:
      • Students will eat meals in areas designated by each school.
      • Meals are currently free per the USDA Summer Meals program waiver through December 31, 2020.
      • Once the waiver ends, schools will require payment for meals based upon each student’s paying status on record.
      • Parents can complete free and reduced meal applications prior to September 29, 2020 to be considered for eligibility. Applications are available on the District's website, at each school, or at the Public Education Center on 2960 Macon Road.
    • Check-out procedures: Parents should notify schools in advance of plans to check out students.
    • Devices: Make sure each student’s device is fully charged prior to arrival.
    • Face masks/coverings: All students, staff, and visitors are required to wear face masks and/or CDC-approved coverings prior to entering any District site.
    • Lockers: To prevent the spread of illness, students will not have access to lockers. Students with medical concerns or extenuating circumstances should notify each school administrator to review potential accommodations.
    • P.E./Recess: Outdoor or physical activities will be directed by each school location at the discretion of each school's administration.
    • Transportation: If you are able, please provide transportation for your student. If your student must ride the bus to school, note the following:
      • Each bus is equipped with hand sanitizer stations for student use upon entry.
      • Bus routes will be impacted by anticipated delays of 15-20 minutes.
      • If you experience delays beyond 20 minutes, please contact transportation's dispatch line: 706-748-2876.
    • Visitation: In accordance with guidelines for social distancing, visitor entry is limited and based upon the discretion of each school administration team. Parents will not be permitted beyond each school's designated common entry points.
    • Water: We encourage each student to bring his/her own water for the safest measure. However, students will have access to water fountains with limited use.

    Safety expectations for in-person students:

    • Stay home if you/your student(s) are displaying any signs or symptoms of illness.
    • Wear face masks or coverings at all District sites.
    • Observe District social distancing guidelines upon entry.
    • Avoid direct contact with District staff and other guests.
    • Wash or sanitize hands before entering the building, before meals, after bathroom breaks, after sneezing/coughing, and frequently throughout the instructional day.
    • Avoid sharing personal items such as pens, pencils, devices, etc. to prevent cross-contamination.

    Resources:


    View the latest updates related to the District's COVID-19 plans HERE

  • 17
    Mercedes Parham

    Are you willing to lose $120 million? Columbus, Georgia is currently below the national and state averages for the U.S. Census 2020 response rates. More than 80,000 households have not reported so far.Based on the Census counts, each household is allocated $1,500 each year in funding to support critical infrastructure from healthcare to education.

    We could lose $120 million in funding each year for the next ten years.
    How you can help: complete the Census for your household at mycensus2020.gov.


    Why does it matter for schools?

    We receive federal funding for our students and communities based on the final count from the Census. This funding supports:

    • Special education, Head Start, after-school programs, and classroom technology
    • Food assistance, including free and reduced-price school lunch and breakfast programs
    • Maternal and child healthcare

    Learn more about the impact of the Census for communities HERE



    Census 2020 FAQs (source: https://my2020census.gov/)

    1. What is the 2020 Census? The goal of the census is to count every person living in the United States, once, only once and in the right place. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that this population and housing count occur every 10 years. Census data guide how more than $675 billion of federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year.
    2. Am I required to respond to the 2020 Census? Yes, you are required by law to respond to the 2020 Census (Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193). We are conducting the 2020 Census under the authority of Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141, 193 and 221. This collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The eight-digit OMB approval number is 0607-1006. If this number were not displayed, we could not conduct the census.
    3. Are my answers confidential and private? Yes. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy. Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information. Violating the confidentiality of a respondent is a federal crime with serious penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Only authorized individuals have access to the stored data, and the information you provide to the Census Bureau may only be used by a restricted number of authorized individuals who are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of your individual responses. Your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. For more information about how we protect your information, please visit our website at census.gov and click on "Data Protection and Privacy Policy" at the bottom of the home page. This page also includes information about the collection, storage, and use of these records. Click on "System of Records Notices (SORN)" and look for Privacy Act System of Records Notice COMMERCE/CENSUS-5, Decennial Census Program.
    4. Who should complete the 2020 Census questionnaire? This 2020 Census questionnaire should be completed by the person who owns or rents the living quarters or any other person who is at least 15 years of age with knowledge of the household.
    5. How do I change my answers? For questions where you must choose a single response from a list, clicking another response will change your answer to that response. If it is a “select all that apply” question, you may click on a selected check box to unselect the box and remove it as one of your answers.
    6. How long will the 2020 Census questionnaire take? The Census Bureau estimates that completing the questionnaire will take 10 minutes on average.
    7. How will the Census Bureau use the information I provide? By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics.
    8. Is it safe to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire online? Yes. For each online questionnaire, we are required to provide an explanation to respondents about the confidentiality of the data and the laws that protect those data (e.g., Title 13, U.S. Code Section 9 (a)).Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy, even in the remote chance that your responses are intercepted. More information on this topic can be found on the Data Protection and Privacy Policy webpage (http://www.census.gov/privacy/).
    9. Will the results be published? Yes. By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. The Census Bureau plans to make results of this study available to the general public. Results will be presented in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information will be published. Information quality is an integral part of the pre-dissemination review of the information disseminated by the Census Bureau (fully described in the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines at https://www.census.gov/about/policies/quality/guidelines.html). Information quality is also integral to the information collection conducted by the Census Bureau and is incorporated into the clearance process by the Paperwork Reduction Act.
    10. Do I have to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire for my household members? Yes, you will be asked to provide information for each household member.

  • 16
    Mercedes Parham

    Columbus, GA- As a safety precaution, The Muscogee County School District will be physically closed September 17, 2020, based upon the recent weather advisories predicting inclement weather and potential damage associated with Hurricane Sally.

    The District will proceed with virtual instruction for all students. Parents should prepare each student to report online for instruction at his/her regularly scheduled time. If any households experience circumstances that cause student absence due to the weather patterns (e.g. power outages, flooding, etc.), we encourage parents to notify each student’s school administrators and teachers.

    All athletic and after-school activities remain cancelled through September 17, 2020.

    In-person instruction, per the choice model, will resume during the regular schedule, September 18, 2020. All official District announcements will come directly from the Office of Communications and/or our Superintendent.

    The mission of the Muscogee County School District is to inspire and equip all students to achieve unlimited potential. For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at 706.748.2034 or communications@muscogee.k12.ga.us.


    # # #

  • 15
    Mercedes Parham

    Columbus, GA- The Muscogee County School District has cancelled all District athletic and after-school activities for tomorrow, September 16, 2020, due to the predicted weather patterns associated with Hurricane Sally.

    UPDATE: There will be no changes to school or office schedules tomorrow, September 16, 2020. The District will continue to monitor weather patterns throughout the remainder of the week.

    All official District announcements will come directly from the Office of Communications and/or the Superintendent of Education.

    The mission of the Muscogee County School District is to inspire and equip all students to achieve unlimited potential. For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at 706.748.2034 or communications@muscogee.k12.ga.us.

    # # #

  • 11
    Mercedes Parham

    The District will proceed with the choice model for instruction, in two phases, as outlined in the re-opening phase-in plan:

    • Phase One-September 14, 2020: Students in grades Pre-K-2, 6, 9, and specialized/self-contained classes will proceed with the choice model; all other students will remain on the virtual instruction model.
    • Phase Two-September 21, 2020: All students in grades Pre-K-12 will proceed with the choice model. Students without a declaration on record will be marked for in-person instruction.

    What to expect/remember for in-person return:

    • Arrival: Each school will conduct temperature checks and review students for any signs/symptoms of illness. Please arrive early to ensure safety checks are conducted in a timely manner.
    • Bathroom breaks/hallway transitions: Breaks and transitions will be directed by each school to limit contact between individuals.
    • Breakfast/lunch:
      • Students will eat meals in areas designated by each school.
      • Meals are currently free per the USDA Summer Meals program waiver through December 31, 2020.
      • Once the waiver ends, schools will require payment for meals based upon each student’s paying status on record.
      • Parents can complete free and reduced meal applications prior to September 29, 2020 to be considered for eligibility. Applications are available on the District's website, at each school, or at the Public Education Center on 2960 Macon Road.
    • Check-out procedures: Parents should notify schools in advance of plans to check out students.
    • Devices: Make sure each student’s device is fully charged prior to arrival.
    • Face masks/coverings: All students, staff, and visitors are required to wear face masks and/or CDC-approved coverings prior to entering any District site.
    • Lockers: To prevent the spread of illness, students will not have access to lockers. Students with medical concerns or extenuating circumstances should notify each school administrator to review potential accommodations.
    • P.E./Recess: Outdoor or physical activities will be directed by each school location at the discretion of each school's administration.
    • Transportation: If you are able, please provide transportation for your student. If your student must ride the bus to school, note the following:
      • Each bus is equipped with hand sanitizer stations for student use upon entry.
      • Bus routes will be impacted by anticipated delays of 15-20 minutes.
      • If you experience delays beyond 20 minutes, please contact transportation's dispatch line: 706-748-2876.
    • Visitation: In accordance with guidelines for social distancing, visitor entry is limited and based upon the discretion of each school administration team. Parents will not be permitted beyond each school's designated common entry points.
    • Water: We encourage each student to bring his/her own water for the safest measure. However, students will have access to water fountains with limited use.

    Safety expectations for in-person students:

    • Stay home if you/your student(s) are displaying any signs or symptoms of illness.
    • Wear face masks or coverings at all District sites.
    • Observe District social distancing guidelines upon entry.
    • Avoid direct contact with District staff and other guests.
    • Wash or sanitize hands before entering the building, before meals, after bathroom breaks, after sneezing/coughing, and frequently throughout the instructional day.
    • Avoid sharing personal items such as pens, pencils, devices, etc. to prevent cross-contamination.

    Resources:


    View the latest updates related to the District's COVID-19 plans HERE

  • 10
    Mercedes Parham

    Columbus, GA- On August 31, 2020, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a waiver to extend the Seamless Summer Option. This qualifies all children, ages 0-18, for free meals. The Muscogee County School District will observe the USDA waiver September 14-December 31, 2020, or until federal funding is no longer available.

    Breakfast and lunch meals will be available for pickup for all children, whether observing virtual or in-person instruction, each Monday through Friday, 10:30-11:15 a.m., at all District school sites. Students continuing virtual instruction will continue to pick up meals in this manner. In-person students will receive meals on site according to each school’s specified meal schedules according to the District’s choice model implementation plan.

    While the waiver is in place, the District encourages parents with students who attend any of the 12 paying, non-Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools, to complete a free and reduced meal application prior to September 29, 2020. Once the waiver ends, paying schools will require payment for meals based upon each student’s status on record. Applications are available on the District's website, at each school, or at the Public Education Center on 2960 Macon Road.

    Safety guidelines for social distancing and protective personal equipment will be observed, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to prevent the spread of illness.



    USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national original, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

    1400 Independence Avenue, SW

    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

    The mission of the Muscogee County School District is to inspire and equip all students to achieve unlimited potential. For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at 706.748.2034 or communications@muscogee.k12.ga.us.

    # # #

  • 9
    Mercedes Parham

    Columbus, GA-The Muscogee County School District’s 2020 SAT results were recently released in an announcement by the Georgia Department of Education. The District’s composite and reading and writing scores exceeded both the state and national averages.

    “As with other facets of education, the administration of the SAT was met with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several test administration dates were cancelled and many sites were inaccessible, which impacted our student’s abilities to attempt tests or retake tests to improve scores. However, despite those challenges, we are pleased to see once again our district surpassed state and national averages in reading and writing and overall composite scores,” said Dr. David Lewis, Superintendent of Education.

    Similar to the state and nation, the District noted some decreases in scores and the number of test takers.

    “This year, several SAT administration sites were inaccessible due to the COVID-19 pandemic denying students the opportunity to take the spring and summer administrations of the exam. In previous years, students were afforded more opportunities to attempt tests to improve their scores. In addition, students were encouraged to attempt the SAT exam following the completion of college-readiness coursework,” said Patrick Knopf, Director of Research, Accountability and Assessment.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the fourth year’s results of the newest version of the SAT revised in 2017. The redesigned SAT features items to test higher-level logic and reasoning skills in reading, writing and math and a different scoring scale from previous versions. Each year there is a different cohort of students who take the SAT, which makes it difficult to draw a comparison from one year to the next. In addition, results are contingent upon the level of coursework students pursue prior to the test administration. Since the SAT and American College Testing (ACT) allow students to sit for the exam regardless of coursework, results can vary from year to year.

    *Data points labeled “Too Few” indicate the number of test takers within the specified category were too few to calculate per the College Board.

    Mean Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

    Group

    2019 Grads

    2020 Grads

    Nation

    524

    520

    Georgia

    533

    532

    MCSD

    541

    540

    School



    Carver High

    479

    481

    Columbus High

    619

    616

    Hardaway High

    508

    505

    Jordan High

    475

    524

    Kendrick High

    503

    Too Few*

    Northside

    537

    534

    Shaw High

    503

    Too Few*

    Spencer High

    458

    490

    Mean Math

    Group

    2019 Grads

    2020 Grads

    Nation

    515

    510

    Georgia

    515

    511

    MCSD

    515

    509

    School



    Carver High

    445

    441

    Columbus High

    606

    596

    Hardaway High

    482

    466

    Jordan High

    445

    484

    Kendrick High

    468

    Too Few*

    Northside

    509

    496

    Shaw High

    461

    Too Few*

    Spencer High

    435

    459

    Mean Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math

    Group

    2019 Grads

    2020 Grads

    Nation

    1039

    1030

    Georgia

    1048

    1043

    MCSD

    1056

    1048

    School



    Carver High

    924

    922

    Columbus High

    1225

    1212

    Hardaway High

    989

    971

    Jordan High

    920

    1008

    Kendrick High

    971

    Too Few*

    Northside

    1046

    1029

    Shaw High

    965

    Too Few*

    Spencer High

    893

    949



    The mission of the Muscogee County School District is to inspire and equip all students to achieve unlimited potential. For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at 706.748.2034 or communications@muscogee.k12.ga.us.

    # # #