Return to School Plan Feedback

If you have feedback concerning our Return to School Plan our feedback submission form can be found here.

Lisa White

Federal Programs Director, Part-Time

The Columbia School District intends to submit applications for the following:

Consolidated Federal Programs Application (CFPA) which includes Title I, II, IV-A (Flexible Block Grant), V (Rural Schools Grant), and Title I-1003a SIG (School Improvement Grant)

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) grants: ESSER I CARES, CRRSA ESSER II, Pre-K ESSER, and ARP ESSER III

Title IV- Part B 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) Application

These grant applications are available for public input and review upon request.


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides financial assistance through State educational agencies (SEAs) to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Title I funds may be used for children from preschool through grade 12. LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to public schools with the highest poverty rates. Public schools with poverty rates of at least 40 percent may use Title I funds, along with other Federal, State, and local funds, to operate a schoolwide program to upgrade the entire educational program. Schools with poverty rates below 40 percent, or those choosing not to operate a schoolwide program, offer a targeted assistance program. In a targeted assistance program, the school serves Title I-eligible students who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet challenging state academic standards. The school then designs, in consultation with parents, staff, and district staff, an instructional program to meet the needs of those students. Both schoolwide and targeted assistance programs must be based on effective means of improving student achievement and include strategies to support parent and family engagement.
Parental and family involvement/engagement is very important for effective implementation of all Federal Programs in the Columbia School District. Click below to view our Parent and Family Engagement Policy. Please contact the Federal Programs Director at 601.736.2366 if you have any suggested edits.


The purpose of Title II, Part A is to increase student academic achievement consistent with the challenging state academic standards; improve the quality and effectiveness of teacher, principals, and other school leaders; increase the number of teachers, principals, and other school leaders who are effective in improving student academic achievement in schools; and provide low-income and minority students greater access to effective teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
· To develop, implement, and improve rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation and support systems; · To support the effective recruitment, selection, hiring and retention of effective educators; · To recruit qualified individuals from other fields to become educators; · To reduce class size to a level that is evidence-based; · To provide high-quality personalized professional development that is evidence-based; · To develop programs and activities that increase educators’ ability to meet the needs of all learners; · To support activities and programs that increase educators’ ability to meet the needs of students through age 8; · Carrying out in-service training for school personnel; · To support the instructional services provided by effective school library programs; · To develop feedback mechanisms to improve school working conditions; and · To carry out other evidence-based activities that meet the purpose of this title.
· Developing and implementing new teacher, principal, or other school leader induction and mentoring programs; · Providing high-quality professional development that is evidence-based for educators on activities such as effectively engaging parents, families and community partners; promoting high-quality instruction in STEM; etc. · Developing and implementing strategies to improve the hiring and retention of a diverse workforce; · Creating incentives for effective educators to teach in high-need schools and ongoing incentives for such educators to remain and grow in such schools · Providing in-service training to all school personnel regarding how to recognize child sexual abuse, trauma, and mental illness, linking children to appropriate services, and addressing issues related to school conditions · Providing training to support the identification of gifted and talented students and instructional practices that support the education of such students.

NOTE: Funds made available under Title II, Part A shall be used to supplement, not supplant, any other Federal, State, or local education funds.


The Columbia School District’s goal for English Learners (EL) is to provide programs and resources that will maximize their potential for reaching English language proficiency while continuing to hold them to the same high academic standards expected of all students. The district will remove barriers associated with enrolling EL students in school. The Columbia School District is committed to providing professional development and training opportunities to district employees who work with EL students. By providing these opportunities, there will be a heightened awareness of the importance of these students meeting the annual measurable achievement objectives in order to meet the local, state, and federal requirements and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Through the use of technology, learning tools, resources, supplies and parental involvement activities, teachers will be more able to focus on the differences and individual needs of their EL students. Such focus will lead to EL students having opportunities to progress in learning English and attaining English proficiency. The English Language Learner program for the Columbia School District offers “pull-out” sessions for students. A pull-out session may be one-on-one or group sessions depending upon scheduling and needs. The success of EL students is a group effort. Instruction and accommodations of a regular classroom teacher and an interventionist are provided. The interventionist assigned to each school will work with EL students having a proficiency level of minimal or basic for a minimum of one session per week and a maximum of five sessions per week. The majority of the EL students’ time is spent with the regular classroom teacher. According to Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the regular classroom teacher is accountable for the EL student’s progress.


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes a flexible block grant program known as Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG) under Title IV Part A. Title IV, Part A authorizes activities in three broad areas: ​ 1. Providing students with a well-rounded education including programs such as college and career counseling, STEM, arts, civics and International Baccalaureate/Advanced Placement. 2. Supporting safe and healthy students with comprehensive school mental health, drug and violence prevention, training on trauma-informed practices, and health and physical education. 3. Supporting the effective use of technology that is backed by professional development, blended learning and educational tech devices.
The purpose of the Mississippi Department of Educations’ Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Program is to provide opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities for children, particularly for students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools, to meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects offer students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs, and offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children. These centers can operate before, during, or after school or any time the regular school day is not in session.
Any public or private organization is eligible to apply for a 21st CCLC grant. Examples of agencies and organizations eligible under the 21st CCLC Program include, but are not limited to, school districts, non-profit agencies, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, and for-profit corporations.
· Remedial education activities and academic enrichment learning programs · Mathematics and science education activities · Arts and music education activities · Entrepreneurial education programs · Tutoring services and mentoring programs · English Learner (EL) programs that emphasize language skills and academic achievement · Recreational activities · Telecommunications and technology education programs · Expanded library service hours · Programs that promote parental engagement and family literacy · Programs that assist students who have been truant, suspended, or expelled · Drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs, and character education programs
Mississippi funds programs for three years on a degrading scale formula contingent upon proper implementation of the proposed project, completion and submission of all required documentation and future congressional appropriations. Recipients will receive funding at 100% for the first two years of the program and 80% of their original funding in year three.


Purpose is to address the unique needs of rural school districts that frequently lack the personnel and resources needed to compete effectively for Federal competitive grants; and receive formula grant allocations in amounts too small to be effective in meeting their intended purposes.
Teacher recruitment and retention Teacher professional development Educational technology Parental involvement activities Activities authorized under Title IV- Part A Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Activities authorized under Title I- Part A Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies Activities authorized under Title III – Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students
Can be used for signing bonuses and other financial assistance Programs that train teachers to utilize technology to improve teaching and to train special needs teachers Software and hardware, as described in Section 2402 (a) of the Title II legislation Activities and programs that prevent violence and the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs in and around schools Activities authorized under Title I- Part A Activities authorized under Title III- Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students.


The Mississippi Department of Education is dedicated to ensuring each child who is homeless has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education available to other students. This commitment includes services to preschool students and unaccompanied youth who are homeless. The McKinney-Vento Act provides specific rights for homeless students. These rights include waiving certain requirements, such as proof of residency, when students are enrolling and allowing categorical eligibility for certain services, such as free lunch. The Act also states: · Students who are homeless may attend their school of origin or the school where they are temporarily residing. · Parents or guardians of homeless students must be informed of educational and related opportunities. · Students who are homeless may enroll without school, medical, or similar records. · Students who are homeless and their families receive referrals to health, dental, mental health, substance abuse, housing, and other needed services. · Students who are homeless have a right to transportation to school. · Students must be provided a statement explaining why they are denied any service or enrollment. · Students must be enrolled in school and receive services, such as transportation, while disputes are being settled. · Students are automatically eligible for Title I services. · School districts must reserve a portion of Title IA funds to serve homeless students. · School districts must review and revise policies that serve as barriers to homeless students. · Schools must post information in the community regarding the rights of homeless students and unaccompanied youth in schools and other places where homeless families may frequent and written in a language they can understand. · School districts must identify a McKinney-Vento Liaison to assist students and their families.

Parents Right to Know

Parents of children in Title I schools have the right to know how the schools are performing and the background of the teachers who work with their children.

Under the provisions of No Child Left Behind parents have the right to request:

  • Information regarding the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teacher(s) and paraprofessional staff

  • Information regarding whether the teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in the which the teacher provides instruction

  • Information regarding whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived

  • Information regarding the baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree

  • Information regarding whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and if so their qualifications

  • Information on their child’s level of achievement in every state academic assessment Also, timely notification must be sent to the parent if their child has been assigned to or has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who is not highly qualified.

Parents may contact the Federal Programs Director at (601) 736-2366 to request information regarding any state or LEA policy on student participation in required assessments, including parental rights to opt-out where applicable.