Answers to Questions posed during Fall 2022 Conference

Following are responses to questions raised during the MASA meeting from Dr. Benton:

What is the status of the Phonics First training schedule?  

The MDE’s contract for Orton-Gillingham services expired on June 30. We are currently in the process of securing a vendor and will post a schedule as soon as possible. 

Can they start a second cohort of AIMS? 

We are working with the RESA, the vendor, and their presenters to try to schedule additional opportunities for AIM Pathways for both teachers and administrators. We will provide an update as soon as the details have been solidified.  

English learners who have only been here for 3 years are being held accountable for the 3rd-grade assessment. Research says they need 3 to 5 years; therefore, we are doing them a disservice if we hold them to the same requirements as native speakers. What about good cause exemption? 

The good cause exemption timeframe is codified in state statute §37-177-11, A. Limited English proficient students who have had less than two (2) years of instruction in an English Language Learner program; (may qualify for a GCE) This is a state law, not an MDE policy.  

Are there plans for continuing to support social-emotional learning? 

SEL is incorporated with MTSS and PBIS. The Early Warning System is currently being updated and will have SEL support for students and schools. REACH MS is hosting a School-wide course on SEL as well. Behavior Specialists from the Office of Intervention can provide training to school districts. 


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