Education & Academics
After moving to a new location, you’ll want to know what options are available for educational pursuits. This chapter outlines Harrison County’s public school systems, along with information about local libraries and higher education. There are private schools, charter schools and home schooling available to children as well.
To be enrolled in a Mississippi school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should take the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, the child’s previous school records and immunizations records. Check with the school for additional requirements. Required immunizations for a child enrolling in kindergarten are polio; diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT); measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); varicella; hepatitis A and B; hib (influenza); and pneumococcus. For more details on Mississippi’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the Mississippi Department of Education’swebsite.
In 2010, Mississippi, along with 42 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. At present, national Common Core State Standards exist only for English language arts and mathematics, with science and social studies in development, though Mississippi has state standards across the full curriculum. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.
Since Mississippi put a charter school law into effect in 2013, there are currently two authorized public charter schools in the state. For more information on the charter school situation in Mississippi, visit the Mississippi Charter School Authorization Boardwebsite.
Mississippi Charter Schools Association
P.O. Box 3438
Jackson, MS 39207
For an introduction to home-schooling in Mississippi, visit the Mississippi Department of Education’swebsite. Here you will find information on home-school rules and regulations, testing information, home-school curricula providers and more.
Mississippi Home Education Association
1535 Steens-Vernon Road
Steens, MS 39766 | 662-494-1999
The Mississippi Home Education Association is a nonprofit organization committed to helping current and prospective home-schoolers with their educational needs.
For local private schools in Mississippi, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.
Choosing a School
Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. During the process, consider these details:
- Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source for school district statistics and curriculum.
- Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.
- If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.
- Discuss the potential school with your child: what they like and what they didn’t like.
- Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.
Harrison County School District
11072 Highway 49
Gulfport, MS 39503
The Harrison County School District has 14 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, one technical high school school and two special schools — Harrison County Alternative School and Harrison County Child Development Center. Link to school websites from the district’s website for information such as school contact information, registration dates, attendance zones and No Child Left Behind report cards.
Biloxi Public School District
160 St. Peter Ave.
Biloxi, MS 39530
The Biloxi Public School District has four elementary schools, one junior high, one senior high school and one alternative school. Link to school websites from the district’s website for information such as school contact information, registration dates, attendance zones and No Child Left Behind reportcards.
Gulfport School District
2001 Pass Road
Gulfport, MS 39501
The Gulfport School District has seven elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a career and technical center, a learning center and a high school GED program. Link to school websites from the district’s website for information such as school contact information, registration dates, attendance zones and No Child Left Behind report cards.
Long Beach School District
19148 Commission Road
Long Beach, MS 39560
The Long Beach School District has three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Link to school websites from the district’s website for information such as school contact information, registration dates, attendance zones and No Child Left Behind report cards.
Pass Christian School District
6457 Kiln-Delisle Road
Pass Christian, MS 39571
The Pass Christian School District has two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and an early childhood center. Link to school websites from the district’s website for information such as school contact information, registration dates, attendance zones and No Child Left Behind reportcards.
Harrison County offers plenty of opportunity for continuing education. The Education Office at Keesler Air Force Base provides educational counseling, proctored testing, tuition assistance processing, satellite reception of distance-learning classes, education records updating for enlisted members (officers must go through the Air Force Institute of Technology) and assistance with commissioning programs. There are four civilian colleges that offer classes on base — Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, William Carey University and the University of Southern Mississippi. Classes are generally held Monday through Friday in the evenings.
Keesler Education Office
500 Fisher St., Room 224 | 228-376-8708
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
500 Fisher St., Room 217
Keesler AFB, MS 39534 | 228-432-5312
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
51 Main St.
Perkinston, MS 39573 | 601-928-5211
Tulane University School
of Continuing Studies
2600 Beach Blvd., Suite 18
Biloxi, MS 39531 | 228-388-5769
University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive
Hattiesburg, MS 39406 | 601-266-1000
University of Southern
Mississippi – Gulf Coast
730 E. Beach Blvd.
Long Beach, MS 39560 | 228-865-4500
920 Cedar Lake Road
Biloxi, MS 39532 | 228-546-9100
William Carey University
498 Tuscan Ave.
Hattiesburg, MS 39401 | 601-318-6051
The Harrison County Library systemoffers learning, recreation, distance education, Internet connections and other resources for users, and all for free. In addition, school libraries that support the curriculum and offer Internet access and other resources are in most public and private schools, and academic and special libraries are found in colleges and universities. Get information about services, hours and events by visiting the branches’ websites.
For a full list of libraries in the state, visit the Mississippi Library Commissionwebsite. The following public library branches are near Keesler Air Force Base.
Harrison County Library Administration
12135 Old Highway 49
Gulfport, MS 39503 | 228-539-0110
Biloxi Public Library
580 Howard Ave.
Biloxi, MS 39530 | 228-436-3095
Margaret Sherry Memorial Library
2141 Popps Ferry Road
Biloxi, MS 39532 | 228-388-1633
West Biloxi Library
2047 Pass Road
Biloxi, MS 39531 | 228-388-5696
8455 Woolmarket Road
Biloxi, MS 39532 | 228-354-9464
Jerry Lawrence Memorial Library
10391 Auto Mall Parkway Road
D’Iberville, MS 39540 | 228-392-2279
Gulfport Public Library
1708 25th Ave.
Gulfport, MS 39501 | 228-871-7171
Orange Grove Public Library
12135 Old Highway 49
Gulfport, MS 39503 | 228-832-6924
Pass Christian Public Library
111 Hiern Ave.
Pass Christian, MS 39571 | 228-452-4596
Saucier Children’s Library
24014 Church Ave.
Saucier, MS 39574 | 228-539-4419