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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information -- Archived Information

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**ARCHIVED INFORMATION**
DESE-Related Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

As the 2020-21 school year begins, some information related to the 2019-20 school year has been archived here.

To visit the live COVID-19 information page, please click here.

Administrative Memos & Previously Released Documents
Assessment/Testing Information
  • On March 19, Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven shared: “There is a time and a place for statewide required assessments and now is not the time,“ said Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Effective immediately, Missouri will be cancelling statewide required assessments for this school year.” See Commissioner Vandeven's full video here (via Facebook).
    • DESE officials examined the impact of cancelling spring 2020 testing, specifically on local education agencies and 2020 graduating seniors. Read that information and the FAQs here.
    • DESE successfully requested that the U.S. Department of Education waive certain requirements in section 1111 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). This allows Missouri to waive assessments required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the identification of comprehensive and targeted schools and the requirements to report ESSA required items on the State, LEA or building report cards.
  • In response to COVID-19, ACT announced that it will offer a flexible schedule for summer 2020 test dates and test-at-home options for fall/winter 2020. Read complete details from ACT.
  • The College Board announced changes in the Advanced Placement (AP) Exam programming due to the coronavirus pandemic. They are offering free, online AP classes and take-at-home AP exams.  For more information, go to the following websites:
Calendars, Finance and Funding
  • May 28: To access the 2019-20 Attendance Hours Forgiveness Letter Form, Summer School Minimum Hour Waiver Form and/or Start Date Law Exemption Request Form, school leaders should visit the MCDS Portal and click on the Login button in the upper right corner. After logging in, under State of Missouri, click on Reports and Resources, and then scroll down to COVID-19 Forms (in the Districts, Charters & Schools category on the left side bar).​
  • May 12 / Start Date Law Exemptions: The State Board of Education voted to grant exemptions to the school start date law that goes into effect for the 2020-21 school year, given the unusual and extenuating circumstances COVID-19 has presented. The State Board of Education has this authority under Section 171.031.6, RSMo. These exemptions are only valid for one academic year (2020-21). State board members will allow the Commissioner of Education to grant those exemptions to expedite and streamline the approval process for districts that submit a request. DESE will create an online submission form for districts to submit their request for exemption; in that form, school leaders will be required to: 1) show they garnered local input before submitting the request, which must include, but is not limited to a public hearing, 2) demonstrate how this exemption will benefit students and their learning, and 3) explain how this exemption will minimize the transmission of COVID-19. An emergency rule, 5 CSR 30-4.050, which sets forth this criteria, was approved by the State Board of Education and will be filed before May 15. Districts may begin gathering the necessary information for the exemption request and/or making plans to gather local input.​
  • March 19: Local education agencies (LEAs) will not be required to make up SY 2019-20 calendar hours lost due to COVID-19 and missed calendar hours will not impact the calculation of average daily attendance. To streamline this process, DESE will soon send LEAs an online form to collect the necessary waiver information. We recognize the importance of ensuring that our schools are paid and that educational opportunities continue to be provided for our students throughout this time of social distancing. Districts and charters should make attendance decisions based on the safety and well-being of their students and staff, without concern that the low attendance numbers will negatively impact payment. 
CARES Act
  • July 6: Missouri will use $55 million from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund to expand educational opportunities for students and address two key challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented for K-12 education: student internet connectivity and potential learning loss during extended school closures. See full News Release
Childcare Message for School Administrators

School Leaders,

Please click here to see an important message from Governor Mike Parson and Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven about providing childcare during COVID-19 school closures.

As you are well aware, there are numerous consequences associated with extended school closures, including the need for childcare.  The Governor’s Office is working with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as well as the Departments of Health and Senior Services, Public Safety, Social Services, and Corrections to identify childcare gaps that may exist for critical health care professionals and first responders in Missouri communities.  We then hope to develop collaborative plans to help provide the needed childcare for these important public servants.​

Schools may continue to provide childcare for working families when/if possible, using the CDC childcare guidelines here.

Extended School Closures
  • April 9: Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced that Missouri schools shall remain closed through this school year. DESE, along with several school superintendents from across the state, made the recommendation to Governor Parson. Learn more about this announcement here in remarks by Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven.
  • Watch Commissioner Vandeven's message to Missouri students, families and educators here: Facebook Twitter
  • All 555 Missouri districts/charter schools are closed. A list detailing each district/charter's official status, including first date of closure, is available here.​
Event Updates and Cancellations
  • 59th Annual Cooperative Conference for School Administrators: Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and the possibility that the pandemic could impact school calendars this summer, the in-person Annual Cooperative Conference for School Administrators has been cancelled. Instead, the conference will be held as a series of webinars. Information will be presented each afternoon during the week of August 3-7. Please mark your calendars for these events. More information will be shared here as it becomes available. 
  • DECA Announces Multiple Cancellations: DECA’s State Career Development Conference (SCDC) will not take place in Kansas City. Instead, DECA will use a virtual platform to determine our state winners. Details pertaining to testing and written event projects will be emailed to chapter advisors and posted on the Missouri DECA website. Missouri DECA is also cancelling its planned virtual SCDC. Please remain connected with DECA’s social media channels (and this webpage) for more updates as they emerge.
  • FCCLA State Conference Cancelled: The FCCLA 2020 state conference and all of its associated events have been cancelled. Missouri FCCLA will be using a process approved by National FCCLA, based upon regional scores to determine participants who will be eligible to advance to the national conference. Refunds will be processed through the MU Conference Office. A social media campaign to highlight award winners and chapter accomplishments is being coordinated and more information will be released as those plans are finalized. Full details have been sent to chapter advisers and posted on the Missouri FCCLA website.
  • FFA Event Updates: All FFA events scheduled this summer, including the State FFA Convention 2020, will be delivered using virtual platforms. Proficiency, State Degree and Chapter Activity award finalists will be announced upon completion of judging and will be recognized during the virtual convention. Leadership Development events will be conducted in early August. State Career Development events will be conducted in late August. 
  • HOSA Conference Update: The face-to-face Missouri HOSA State Leadership Conference was cancelled. Missouri HOSA is now utilizing a virtual platform to determine state winners. Details pertaining to testing and other event projects have been emailed to Local Chapter Advisors and posted on the Missouri HOSA Website. This virtual platform will allow all registered student members to compete from home.
  • Missouri FBLA-PBL State Leadership Conference Held Virtually: The 2020 Missouri FBLA-PBL State Leadership Conference has shifted to a virtual format, allowing students to compete and participate in leadership and career activities remotely.  All three student divisions (Middle Level, FBLA, and PBL) competing members, their advisers, and parents will have access to the Virtual SLC. For additional information, please see the letter from the State Office or visit the Missouri FBLA-PBL Virtual SLC website.
  • New Counselor Institute: The New Counselor Institute (NCI) scheduled for July 13-16 at the Stoney Creek Hotel in Columbia has been cancelled. NCI will not be rescheduled for this year. If you are a new counselor, click here to sign up for the DESE mentoring program and school counseling listserv to receive updates and resources.
  • SkillsUSA Event Updates: In light of the current health issues and concerns resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19), DESE, in conjunction with our conference partners at the State Technical College of Missouri have made the difficult decision to cancel SkillsUSA Missouri’s State Leadership & Skills Conference and all of its associated in-person events. Virtual championships will not be offered. While a variety of factors influenced this decision, be assured that the health and safety of our students and stakeholders is always our primary concern. Full refunds will be processed upon staffs return to the office. For questions, please contact SkillsUSA@dese.mo.gov.
  • TSA Conference Update: The Missouri TSA 2020 State Championships Conference, scheduled at Missouri S&T on March 29-31, moved to digital submission this year with some modification to events to allow for such submissions. Details pertaining to testing and other event projects submissions will be emailed to Local Chapter Advisors and posted on the Missouri TSA Website (www.motsaweb.org). Please remain connected with Missouri TSA’s social media channels and TSA Local Chapter Advisors for more updates as they emerge.
High School Senior Information
  • Graduating seniors and their families are encouraged to review the information on the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development’s (DHEWD’s) COVID-19 webpage here. At the bottom of that webpage, DHEWD has created a list of Missouri colleges and universities with links directly to the information those institutions are providing for high school seniors. Additional links are being added daily. The DHEWD COVID-19 webpage also contains up-to-date guidance and information about the A+ Scholarship and the Bright Flight Scholarship.
  • DESE officials have examined the impact of cancelling spring 2020 testing, specifically on local education agencies and 2020 graduating seniors. Read the information here.
LEA Deadlines
  • Extended Learning Deadline Extensions: The following deadline extensions pertain to afterschool grantees for both 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) and School Age Community (SAC) grants:
  • 2018-19 Evaluations/Guided Reflections deadline was extended to July 15.
  • 2019-20 evaluation surveys and documentation collection was extended to July 15 (for those not able to access documentation, provide a narrative of the documentation that can later be submitted).
  • 2019-20 evaluation school day teacher surveys deadline was extended to June 15
  • DESSA Staff Time 2 assessment for 2019-20 was waived.
  • Grades reporting of regular 21st CCLC students is reduced to just one pre and one post grade for the 2019-20 year.
  • Data entry of student attendance for 21st CCLC and SAC must be inputted on or before July 15 for 2019-20 student attendance, up until the time the physically located program site was closed due to COVID-19.
  • 2020-2021 21st CCLC continuation reports deadline was extended to May 15.

Programs seeking more information on these extended deadlines should contact DESE’s Extended Learning Section at exl@dese.mo.gov or 573-522-2627.

  • Federal Programs Deadline Extensions: DESE will extended the following deadlines for Consolidated Federal Programs Applications by one month. DESE will continue to monitor the deadline dates and, based on the conditions and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, will use additional flexibility when needed.
    • March 31: recommended last day to order materials and supplies. Was due April 30.
    • April 15: deadline to submit the ESEA Program Self-Monitoring Checklist for April Cycle. Will now be due May 15.
    • April 30: deadline to submit ESEA Consolidated Application Revisions and proposed Summer School Plans. Will now be due May 31​.
    • No decision has been reached regarding the July 1 deadline for the 2020-2021 ESEA Consolidated Application. In the event it becomes necessary to extend that deadline, we will begin researching ways to do so without the LEA being at risk of not having a substantial approval date when the new year begins on July 1. Please keep in mind we are still responsible for providing supplemental equitable services to our nonpublic school students, teachers and families through Title I, II and IV.A. We received some communication from an LEA asking about how to provide services to their nonpublic students. The LEA specifically asked about providing a Zoom experience for nonpublic students to connect with the Title I teacher. This would be a great way to connect with those students and to continue providing the required equitable services. If an LEA has any questions, please feel free to reach out to your Federal Programs Supervisor. For Title IV.B, 21st CCLC and SAC grants, the deadline for budget amendments stated in the grant guidance has been waived for the current year. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at exl@dese.mo.gov.
  • The deadline for Summer School applications was extended to June 1.
School Food and Nutrition Services

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)
For households with children who attend a school that’s closed and who would otherwise receive free or reduced-price meals, an application is being developed to provide a meal-replacement benefit through SNAP under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. This new P-EBT provision can compensate families for the cost of the meals their children are missing out on because their schools are closed. USDA is providing guidance to state agencies on plan requirements in order to receive approval. DESE will share information and application details as soon as they are available. Read more from USDA about the Pandemic EBT here.

Please note that DESE Food & Nutrition Services (FNS) has worked with the Department of Social Services (DSS) to update the DSS Family Support Division recording and the information being shared about P-EBT. This message previously instructed families to contact their local school district. The message has been revised to say the following: “This benefit is not yet available. You will be contacted to apply when applications are available.”​​

  • ​​​FNS Disaster information page
  • COVID Questions & Answers for FNS (Updated March 31)
  • FNS recently applied for two waivers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FNS. The waivers aim to support schools and communities in providing meals to children in areas experiencing school closures in response to COVID-19. Those waivers were approved Sunday, March 15. ​Administrative Memo FAS-20-001 issued on March 16 addresses these waivers. 

Pursuant to section 2202(a) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) (P.L. 116-127), and in light of the exceptional circumstances surrounding COVID-19, USDA FNS has established the following additional nationwide waivers, available to schools that elect to use them, through June 30 or upon expiration of the federally declared public health emergency:​

  • Meal Pattern Waiver: Schools may apply here to waive specific meal pattern requirements, as needed, to support access to nutritious meals when certain foods are not available during this emergency.
  • Meal Times Waiver: USDA FNS has provided a nationwide waiver to support access to nutritious meals outside of the designated meal periods to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19.
  • Parent/Guardian Meal Pickup Waiver: This waiver allows parents and guardians to pick up meals for their children without the child being present, as long as schools protect the accountability and integrity of the program. No application required.
  • Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Data Waiver: The CEP deadlines are being extended for reporting SY 2019-20 student counts to establish SY 2020-21’s identified student percentage for CEP, as well as for the required notifications and CEP election. No application required.
  • Activity Requirement in Afterschool Care Waiver: The requirement for an educational or enrichment activity when serving an afternoon meal/snack under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or Child and Adult Care Food Program has been waived. This applies to afterschool snacks in the NSLP for schools who currently participate in the Afterschool Snack Program. No application required.
  • Waivers of Child Nutrition Monitoring: USDA FNS has issued flexibility to waive certain onsite monitoring requirements for the school meals programs to maintain program integrity and support social distancing while providing meals.
  • State Aid for Transportation of Pupils: Section 163.161.1, ​RSMo: “Any school district which makes provision for transporting pupils as provided in section 162.621 and sections 167.231 and 167.241 shall receive state aid for the ensuing year for such transportation on the basis of the cost of pupil transportation services provided the current year. A district shall receive, pursuant to section 163.031, an amount not greater than seventy-five percent of the allowable costs of providing pupil transportation services to and from school and to and from public accredited vocational courses, and shall not receive an amount per pupil greater than one hundred twenty-five percent of the state average approved cost per pupil transported the second preceding school year, except when the state board of education determines that sufficient circumstances exist to authorize amounts in excess of the one hundred twenty-five percent of the state average approved cost per pupil transported the second previous year.”
    • This waiver means the miles driven by school buses that are delivering food and/or remote learning opportunities to students, and/or providing Wi-Fi near students’ homes, are allowable transportation costs (under the district’s emergency preparedness plan) and may now be reported as eligible route miles on the Application for State Transportation Aid. Amid COVID-19 school closures, schools are now taking school to Missouri students, instead of bringing students to school.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DESE have received questions from FNS officials asking how their programs and operations could be impacted as a result of COVID-19. At this time, continue normal program operations. If a public health emergency happens in your community, such as an outbreak of COVID-19, USDA Foods currently in your local inventory can be used as an emergency feeding source for your community without prior approval or permission from DESE Food and Nutrition Services. Information about that decision-making can be reviewed on the USDA Foods During Disaster fact sheet here. Within 45 days of an emergency feeding, local FNS officials will submit to DESE FNS via email the total amount of products that need to be replaced. DESE FNS officials will then work with local SFAs to gather additional information needed, such as the disaster rate, total number of persons receiving USDA Foods, the period those foods were issued, etc. The USDA Foods used will be replaced with another like product or, in some cases, credit entitlement for the value of the food used. The USDA Food Program Disaster Manual here provides FNS officials key information about this process. DESE encourages FNS officials to review this information as a precautionary measure, specifically: page 21 (School Food Authority Disaster Preparation information), page 32 (Procedures for the Replacement and Reporting of USDA Foods), and page 73 (Disaster preparation recommendations). See full memo.​​
Summer School
  • May 28: To access the 2019-20 Attendance Hours Forgiveness Letter Form, Summer School Minimum Hour Waiver Form and/or Start Date Law Exemption Request Form, school leaders should visit the MCDS Portal and click on the Login button in the upper right corner. After logging in, under State of Missouri, click on Reports and Resources, and then scroll down to COVID-19 Forms (in the Districts, Charters & Schools category on the left side bar).​
  • May 4: DESE provided additional information to school leaders about claiming attendance hours for 2020 summer school in this document.
  • April 23: DESE recently convened a Summer School Task Force, comprised of school leaders from across the state, to discuss 2020 summer school questions and the options available to school leaders amid COVID-19 and public health orders. DESE received three recommendations from the Summer School Task Force in how best to support schools as they develop their summer school plans. Those recommendations are outlined here in Administrative Memo QS-20-005. More detailed summer school information can also be found in the COVID-19 and Summer School 2020 Questions and Answers document.​
Year-End Guidance for Schools

Administrative Memos

Webinars

Web Applications