Human Resources Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a position with Columbus Municipal School District (CMSD)?

The CMSD has an online application system. Access the system by going to and click on the link that reads "Job Openings." All who are interested in employment must create and submit an application. You will have an opportunity to upload supporting documents (cover letter, resume, transcript, etc.).

How does the CMSD collect information from references?

The online application system requires applicants to list a minimum of three (3) references. Each reference should have a valid email address and telephone number. The application system automatically sends an electronic reference feedback form to any individuals that are listed. It is helpful to contact your references to encourage them to complete the feedback form.

What do I do if I am having trouble submitting my application or any attachments online?

If you are having difficulties logging in to your application, click on the link that reads "Having trouble logging in?" and follow the instructions to recover your account.

Your application must be complete before submission. Be sure to provide information in all required fields (those identified with a red asterisk [*]). Review the application carefully and include any information that will help support your candidacy. You should receive an email that identifies any missing required information from the application. If you are having trouble with submitting attachments, check the file size and file type.

What is the difference between a certified and a non-certified position?

Certified positions are those that require a successful candidate to have a valid educator license. Non-certified positions do not require a valid educator license.

Once my application is received, what's next?

Applicants are encouraged to contact the hiring manager/contact person for a position to express further interest (Principals at the school level, Directors/Supervisors at the departmental or support service level). The hiring manager is responsible for reviewing applications, selecting applicants for interviews and recommending candidates for employment. If selected, recommendations for employment are considered by the Board of Trustees at either regularly scheduled or special meetings.

Can I apply for a certified position with the CMSD if I have not met all of the certification requirements?

Yes, but the District's willingness to interview/hire you will depend on the time it takes for you to complete certification requirements.

Does the CMSD hire "alternate route" teachers?

The District does consider hiring teachers that did not complete traditional educator preparation programs. The Mississippi Department of Education has criteria to determine eligibility for obtaining non-traditional educator certification. Visit to learn more.

Am I guaranteed an interview?

No. Hiring managers will review applications and interview the most qualified applicants.

I was just hired. Will I need to participate in orientation? What will I need to provide?

The Office of Human Resources will contact all newly hired employees and invite them to participate in new hire orientation. New employees will need to provide valid forms of identification (ex. Driver License and Social Security card), the names and Social Security numbers of dependents/beneficiaries, verifying documentation of your banking information for direct deposit and $40.00 cash (exact amount) for the criminal background check. We do not accept debit/credit cards or checks.

If I have an out-of-state teaching license, how do I get reciprocity with the state of Mississippi?

You will need to contact the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Educator Licensure at 601-359-3483 or visit to learn more about this process.

Will I receive credit for my years of experience teaching at a private school?

The CMSD will allow 1 year of credit for each 9-month period of actual teaching at a public or private school. The experience must be verified in writing by the school/system to receive credit. Verifications must be received within 10 business days of employment. Any exceptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis. All new employees will be placed at their position's beginning salary step until experience is verified.

Can an employee receive credit for years of experience from another state?

The CMSD will allow 1 year of credit for each 9-month period of actual teaching at a public or private school (in-state or out-of-state). The experience must be verified in writing by the school/system to receive credit. Verifications must be received within 10 business days of employment. Any exceptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis. All new employees will be placed at their position's beginning salary step until experience is verified.

What is the process for completing a criminal background check?

New employees are required to successfully complete a criminal background check before beginning any work duties. Fingerprint images are submitted and checked against the State of Mississippi's criminal database and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's criminal database. New employees are required to pay a fee for this service. Additionally, new employees must successfully complete a child abuse registry background check with the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

What benefits does the district offer to its employees?

The CMSD offers several benefits to eligible employees such as a retirement plan, health insurance, life insurance, dental and vision coverage, disability coverage, hospital gap, cancer coverage, and more.

Do CMSD employees earn paid time off?

Days for leaves and absences, sick and personal, shall be accumulated as follows (based on the number of scheduled work days per fiscal year):

  • 180 - 198 work days: 9 leave days
  • 199 - 217 work days: 10 leave days
  • 218 - 235 work days: 11 leave days
  • 236 or more work days: 12 leave days
  • Up to 5 leave days per fiscal year may be used for personal business.
  • Up to 10 vacation days are available to employees that work more than 226 days per fiscal year. Vacation days are available after completing a year of employment.

Every employee at the beginning of each fiscal/contract year shall be credited with the minimum leave allowance based on the number of scheduled work days, i.e. an employee with 187 work days is credited leave of nine (9) days.

In the event the employee terminates service before the contracted period is completed, the number of leave days shall be prorated to the ratio of days worked. If the employee has used more days than days earned, the difference shall be deducted from the final paycheck.

Individuals that begin employment in the course of a fiscal/contracted year shall earn leave days in ratio to the days worked.

Does the CMSD offer any employee incentive programs?

The CMSD offers employees incentives through the Teacher Incentive Pay Plan (TIPP) which rewards employees who help students meet and exceed growth and proficiency targets set by the Mississippi Department of Education School Accountability System. Employees can earn additional leave days by meeting monthly perfect attendance incentive requirements. Teachers that are responsible for teaching mathematics and/or science courses all day are eligible for a one-time incentive payment.

Does the district have any incentives for employees going back to school to work on an advanced degree?

Depending on the position, an eligible employee may receive a salary increase upon earning an advanced degree.

What is the work schedule for my position?

The District establishes a work calendar each school/fiscal year. Depending on the position, you will have a certain number of working days scheduled during the school/fiscal year. Contact your supervisor for specific work hours and other details about your schedule.

Who should I contact with questions about payroll, taxes, and/or benefits deductions?

Those questions can be answered by the CMSD Business Office.

When are CMSD employees paid?

The CMSD pays employees on the last working day of the month. All pay is issued via direct deposit.

How can I learn about the salary ranges for positions?

The CMSD Board of Trustees approves salary scales that establish ranges for positions within the District. The scales account for various factors such as level of education, number of years of related experience, etc. You may request the salary scale for any position by contacting a member of the Human Resources team.

I am a former employee. How can I receive documentation of my work experience with the CMSD?

Former employees must submit requests for experience verification to the Office of Human Resources. Typically, those requests are completed within one to three business days. Occasionally the volume of requests is high and the completion of your document may be delayed.

I am interested in retiring. What processes should I complete?

Information about the retirement process is available from the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) at Employees may also contact the Office of Human Resources to discuss the process. Employees must consider an effective date of retirement as well as decide which eligible insurance benefits should be continued into retirement.

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