JDC Schools move to virtual learning

Published 2:13 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jefferson Davis County Superintendent Ike Haynes and Assistant Superintendent of Schools John Daley went live on the JDC School District Facebook page to announce that the school district will immediately shift to virtual learning. Students will return to the classroom for in-person learning Sept. 1.

“I want to thank you for our prayers and for all your support for our children,” said Superintendent Haynes. “They are heart felt and much needed and very much appreciated.”

Haynes laid out the two primary jobs he has as superintendent: To provide a safe and nurturing environment for the children of Jefferson Davis County and to provide a quality education for the  boys and girls that will give them confidence to go out into society and be productive citizens.

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“Those two things are threatened with COVID-19 and this new delta variant. Everything we have done since Aug. 5 has been to place these children in a position of safety. We have worked diligently.” The district was under a mask mandate, required temperature checks upon entering buses and campuses and had hand sanitizer available in multiple locations. “I am so proud of our district staff because they have done everything in their power to keep their children safe, but despite all of our best efforts we have seen our numbers rise, unfortunately. Because of that, our district will now shift to virtual instruction for the next 14 days and will be returning to in-person learning Sept. 1. I do not take this lightly and let me be crystal clear, the educational process will not stop.”

Assistant Superintendent John Daley has been working with teachers and principals regarding the process of virtual instruction. “We have met with principals in great lengths about practices and policies so we can have the smoothest virtual experience we possibly can for these 14 days,” said Daley. “We want our students to get the best possible instruction from home.”

Daley understands there will be special circumstances and noted that parents with small children that have a strict work schedule can contact the school principal for assistance. “We will have some Jag classrooms set up for such instances as this.”

Breakfast and lunch will be delivered on school days during the entire 14-day period. Bus drivers will run their routes in the community to provide students with these meals.
JDC IT director Eric Stewart has hotspots available for those students that do not have WiFi in the home.

“The virtual learning day will be 330 minutes of instruction. It will be a full school day with live interaction with their teachers,” said Daley. Teachers will provide instruction and there will be opportunities to for independent practice and assessment. “Everything our students would get in the school setting, we will do our best to make sure they are getting in the virtual situation as well.”

Services for special needs students will continue safely on campus.

“We have been prepared since day one to be able to skillfully shift on behalf of the safety of our children,” said Haynes. “The teachers are going to do everything they can to make sure the process goes on. It is going to be up to parents and grandparents to ensure your child is logging on to do the work. Grades will not be given, but earned. I understand this is going to be a difficult situation as we cannot control the transmission of this virus. I know that we can do it through the Jaguar Way that we are exhibiting; a children first attitude. I have high expectation for the teachers and students to make this virtual process legitimate and not a sham. We are going to hold everyone accountable to do their job. Working together we are going to get it done.”

As of Aug. 17, the following cases were documented in the Jefferson Davis County School District:

JE Johnson
21 Students positive (6 never came to school)
2 Staff positive
35 Students quarantined
1 Staff quarantined
Carver Elementary
13 Students positive
3 Staff positive
19 Students Quarantined
1 Staff Quarantined
JDC High
17 Students positive
1 Staff positive
17 Students quarantined (the only reported)