Our District has experienced one of the worst weather events in history. The impact on our county and its population is unprecedented. Everyone has been affected in one way or another and many have experienced devastating loss of property and homes. Our thoughts are with everyone as you deal with the recovery process.
We are so appreciative of the first responders, the linemen, relief agencies, and many, many volunteers who are helping to make things easier by cleaning up, restoring power, providing food, water, supplies, and comfort, and many other acts of kindness. We also thank the County Road and Bridge Department and all who are working hard to clear roads so that our buses will have safe passage.
In an effort to return to some type of normalcy and routine, it has been decided by Superintendent Larry Moore and the Board Members that teachers will return to work on Friday, October 26 and students will return on Monday, October 29. At this time each school building and classroom is being assessed by Belfor, a world-wide disaster recovery company that specializes in restoration of facilities after events such as we had. Any damages that need immediate repair are being taken care of to ensure that when teachers and students return, it will be to a safe classroom. Many schools already have power restored and all will have power restored well in advance of teachers returning. We hope this advance notice allows you time to make adequate plans and preparations.
Please let us know if we can assist you in any way.
Additional Information 10/19/18
Please know that the Jackson County School District is aware of concerns of some staff and parents on the start date of school. The goal of the Jackson County School system is to do what is best for our students. Hopefully next week will bring continued improvement in restoration of power and clearance of debris in our county. The restoration/recovery company hired by the District is working at school sites, assessing and working with our District maintenance staff to make our facilities ready and safe. We are also fortunate in that other school districts have sent their skilled maintenance staff to assist our schools in the recovery effort. Our schools will have electricity, cool air, and food for our students. Many parents have jobs that are requiring their attendance now and having schools that their children can attend will make this time easier for working parents. Concern has been expressed regarding students having clothes for dress code requirements. Dress code requirements of polos/specific shirts will be suspended temporarily. Please be mindful that modest dress will be required, however. Another concern has been students’ ability to do homework with no power. No homework will be assigned until power has been restored to their communities. FTE funding has also been mentioned as a reason for starting. Our funding is not based on daily attendance throughout the year and so the date that students start back to school is going to have no impact on our FTE funding. Again, the desire of Jackson County School District is to begin the process of providing some normalcy and routine for students.
Bus transportation will be provided the first day students return, however the buses may run later than usual so as not to have buses began routes before daylight.
For our teachers and staff, we know as your students return that you will give them a positive message of hope that our county will be moving forward. They may have needs that we can assist with and we can help direct parents to the appropriate resources available. Many of you, our employees, are dealing with recovery issues of your own and the District wants to assist you and direct you to find the resources you need. If you are an employee and need to speak with us on specific needs, please call or email. As you make plans to return to work, let us know of specific issues you have related to transportation or daycare. Please inform your principal if you have relocated and have specific problems related to returning to work.
Again, the desire of the District is to provide our students with a safe and healthy environment and to ease the burdens of families. As a District, we must move forward every day in helping Jackson County get back to being a functioning community.