MDE to provide $14 million program to 135 Mississippi districts

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The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has initiated another service called the Health and School Safety Platform (nSide) from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds.

Schools across 135 districts opted in to the service at the end of February with the service free of charge until September 30, 2024.

Around $14 million of the total $49 million ESSER funds has been allocated to the installation of the platform and cameras, making it the second-largest funded service MDE’s plan.

The features of the service include the following:

  • One surveillance camera for the district central office and up to five school-based surveillance cameras with the ability to detect and notify of crowd congestion
  • Access to a 360-degree live, virtual walkthrough of a school to provide situational awareness in emergencies
  • A system to create detailed campus maps and building floor plans with georeferenced images that give first responders precise locations of individuals
  • A portal to upload emergency operation plans
  • Mobile app for notification of emergencies and to notify staff and emergency responders
  • Assistance with creating and managing emergency operations plans that meet state and federal requirements

Out of the 135 districts, 10 chose to not receive the installation of new security cameras, although the program can be used with preexisting cameras.

“With nearly every school district in the state choosing to use this innovative health and school safety platform, Mississippi schools will now have a more uniform approach to keeping students, teachers and staff safe,” State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright said. “MDE is confident this platform will be beneficial to districts by helping them prevent and mitigate crises.”

The initiation of nSide begins today and will continue over the next several weeks.

To see the total list of the qualifying districts, click here.

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