Mississippi Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, (MSDB) The Mississippi Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (MSDB) is one district with two unique schools – the Mississippi School for the Deaf, established in 1854, and the Mississippi School for the Blind, established in 1848. MSDB was established by the Mississippi State Legislature to provide educational and residential services to students across Mississippi who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or deaf/blind. Our highly specialized Teachers and Support Staff work together to provide a safe, happy, and healthy environment that facilitates growth and learning. Our educational curricula and after school programs encourage students to excel in all areas of their lives. Our goal is to provide fully accessible learning environments and foster the love of learning for life. Our students strive to accomplish every goal they set for themselves and exceed everyone’s expectations! Learn more about how we succeed by clicking below and learn about our two unique schools.
Grade Levels: PK-12
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Staff and Students Extend A Warm Welcome to Donna Sorensen
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Based on 1) the continuing high numbers of COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, 2) feedback from parents and staff about our first final draft of our plan to reopen, and 3) our budget, the MSDB Leadership Team has made the decision to postpone the opening of school, both On-Campus and Virtual Instruction services, to September 8, 2020.
We were hoping COVID-19 cases would begin decreasing as more people practice social distancing, wearing masks, and implementing other universal precautions. The numbers in Mississippi continue to rise. In our efforts to ensure health and safety of staff and students to the best of our ability, postponing the first day of school to September 8, 2020, makes the most sense.
After releasing our first final draft, we got a lot of feedback with questions and requests from parents and staff. We want to take the time to answer these questions thoughtfully and not rush into the opening of school. By taking an extra few weeks and waiting until September 8, 2020, we can better prepare the physical environment including signage and the virtual environment through professional development to be better ready to serve each and every student in our care whether on campus or virtually. We appreciate your feedback and we take your questions and concerns seriously.
As many of you may have seen, Governor Tate Reeves vetoed various parts of the budget with MSDB’s budget being included in the veto. Please know that we are working with the Mississippi Department of Education in a “work around” situation. We have access to funds for staff salaries and for purchasing necessary materials. By postponing until September 8, 2020, we have an extra few weeks to procure more necessary cleaning supplies and necessary educational materials including technology to better ensure we are as prepared as possible to provide the health and safety and the educational services required for your children.
We appreciate your continued support of our school. We want the same thing you want – for all children to be healthy and have access to a safe educational program. Postponing our start date to September 8, 2020, is the best plan we know at this point to facilitate achieving those goals.
Throughout this document, anything that has been changed will have the words “UPDATED” in front of that section. Hopefully, this helps you find the most current and accurate information.
Donna E Sorensen
Primary Health and Safety District Contact
Donna E Sorensen, Superintendent
firstname.lastname@example.org; 601-984-8204; 769-257-3493
Dupe Oluwatade, Health Clinic Supervisor
Information and Updates
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1. If a residential student misses the bus to return to school, what happens?
The family is welcome to transport the student to campus at any time. If the student remains at
home there are three options. First, the student may participate in Virtual Instruction for one
week. Second, if the student is sick, the absences will be considered excused and classwork and
homework will need to be made up. Third, if the student is not sick and does not participate in
Virtual Instruction, the absence will be marked unexcused.
2. If a student is in quarantine status, what happens?
There are three options. First, the student may participate in Virtual Instruction for the 14 days
of required quarantine. Second, if the student is sick, the absences will be considered excused
and classwork and homework will need to be made up. Third, if the student is not sick and does
not participate in Virtual Instruction, the absence will be marked unexcused.
3. How will the district identify and address the needs of students and staff with
underlying health conditions?
MSDB will address underlying health concerns on an individual basis. Please talk with your
supervisor for needed accommodations. For students with underlying health conditions, please
check with the Teacher or Principal. Our goal is safety and education. We will make every effort
possible to address underlying health concerns to ensure to the best of our ability that each
staff member and each student has access to a safe, happy, and healthy environment.
4. When will registration be available? What if I can’t complete my child’s
We are currently working on an online system for registration. It should be simple enough to
complete on any device that has access to the Internet. If you need assistance, please call
MSDB and someone will be available to enter your information for you. As the first day of
school approaches, MSDB staff may call you to follow up and assist with getting your child