State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile

State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile - Mississippi

June 2018

This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.

Kindergarten Requirements
What is the compulsory school age? Age 6 on or before September 1 Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-13-91
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? Age 5 on or before September 1 Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-15-9
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Opt-in: Age 5 after September 1, if a student was a resident of another state and attended at least 4 weeks of kindergarten, he/she may enroll in kindergarten. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-15-9
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? Yes — Full-Day Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-21-6
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 5.5 hours per day for all grades. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-13-67 
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? 1:27 for grades 1-3. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-151-77
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Teacher preparation: To obtain an elementary educator license, teacher candidates must pass a reading instruction and intervention test.
Professional Development: In-service training must include an emphasis on reading methods for all K-3 teachers. Subject to appropriations, low performing schools or districts may use data coaches to determine the effectiveness of data-focused professional development, to help teachers and district leaders build skills in using data to inform instruction.
Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-3-2;
Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-3-105;
Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-177-7
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation. Code Miss. R. 7-7;
Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-3-2 (West)
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation. Code Miss. R. 7-4*

* This citation is difficult to search for. Try " 7-4. Licensure Guidelines K-12"
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? All kindergarten students are required to participate in the kindergarten readiness assessment no later than 30 days after the start of the school year. Code Miss. R. 7-7*;
Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-21-11

*This citation is difficult to search for. Try "Mississippi Kindergarten Guidelines"
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? Parents must be informed of their student's performance. Districts must report results to the state superintendent of education. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-21-11
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? Transition plans for kindergarten along with parental involvement are part of the Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System. Code Miss. R. 18-7-3:100
Does the state have a statutory definition of school readiness? What do states use their definition of school readiness to inform? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
Are assessments required in grades K-3? The State Department of Education must select early literacy and numeracy screening instruments to be used in K-3. Reading assessments must be administered in the first 30 days of the school year. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-23-16
Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-177-1
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? Results of the early literacy and numeracy screening assessments may not be used to determine promotion. Districts must provide data requested by the department to assess the effectiveness of the screening assessment. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-23-16
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? Interventions include supplemental instruction, family engagement with at-home reading strategies, and transition classes. Interventions for students who are retained in third grade may include small group instruction, reduced student-teacher ratios, tutoring, transition classes, extended school time, summer reading camps, high performing teachers and a read-at-home plan. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-177-1 et. seq.
Is there a third grade retention policy? Third grade retention is required with good cause exemptions. Intensive acceleration classes are available for students retained in grade three who were previously retained in K-3 grades. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-177-11
Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-177-15
Family Engagement
For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement? Yes, family engagement is included as a requirement of transition plans. Code Miss. R. 18-7-3:100
For those states with third grade retention policies, is parental input required? Parental notification is required. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-177-13
Social-Emotional Learning
Where is social-emotional development emphasized in statute? Social-emotional competence is included as a goal for kindergarten education. Code Miss. R. 7-7

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