From Staff Reports
Questions over when local schools will reopen were at least partially answered on Thursday when Gov. Tate Reeves ordered all public schools throughout Mississippi to suspend classes through at least April 17 due to the spread of the of coronavirus.
“This is not a decision I take lightly,” Reeves said in a Facebook video Thursday morning. “…It is perhaps the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make… I know it is difficult for Mississippi families when schools are shut down.”
Reeves himself is currently in self-imposed quarantine following a trip to Spain.
Reeves said he would be signing an executive order Thursday to make the school closure official. Reeves said he and education officials will monitor the situation and make a determination by April 17 whether to extend the school closures even further.
Reeves also said that schools will continue to receive state funds and teachers will continue to be paid during the state-imposed closure period.
“Our teachers will get paid their annual salary on time as we expect,” Reeves said.
When reached by phone shortly after the governor’s announcement, Richton Supt. of Education Clay Anglin told The Dispatch he and the Richton School District leadership team, including heads of the nutrition and transportation departments will meet at 9 a.m. this coming Tuesday to formulate a plan for the district moving forward. Anglin said he felt it was best to wait until Tuesday so that he and other administrators would have the information they need from the governor’s office and the Mississippi Department of Education to make the best decision possible.
Perry County Supt. of Education Scott Dearman said he and his leadership team were meeting Thursday afternoon to begin looking at alternatives and formulating a plan for the schools in Beaumont, New Augusta and Runnelstown. Dearman said they would be sharing more information with the public over the next few days as the plans come together.