The Mississippi Association of Educators recently released a survey where they contacted nearly 2,400 educators representing all 82 counties in the state. They are across section of the thousands of educators in Mississippi’s public school system: teacher assistants,certified teachers, school administrators, and district administrators.
Their findings included the following:
When asked about reopening schools, 86.3% of respondents expressed a negative sentiment about a traditional return to school buildings, advocating for schools to reopen at a later date and/or to reopenutilizing virtual learning. Respondents expressed feelings of unease and tension about a return to the
classroom and, in the case of virtual learning, concerns about their ability to keep up with the demands of a new work environment. Respondents also cited their own medical histories, including pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, the health of their family, and the health of
students as primary concerns.
Based on early survey results and conversations with educators and experts, MAE proposes that prior to
reopening buildings and physically returning to school, the following criteria be met:
- Mandated mask use in all schools.
- All students, educators, and volunteers have access to proper training and protective gear.
Educators should be provided with face shields so that students can see non-verbal facial cues.
This is critical from a classroom management perspective and is an important part of a child’s
- Schools have the cleaning supplies and custodial staff required to ensure buildings are being
cleaned and disinfected according to CDC guidelines.
- All education support professionals, such as maintenance workers and custodial staff, have
resources and training needed to maintain clean campuses and schools.
- A plan to have students’ temperatures taken before entering the building or boarding a bus
must be developed.
- Access to testing for students and educators who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.