Jackson County School District to end virtual learning

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The Jackson County School District will no longer offer virtual learning after Monday, October 12th. For the first time since school began, the district is reporting zero new COVID cases. School Superintendent Dr. John Strycker says it is safe for all students to return to campus.

Around 1,200 Jackson County students who spent the last nine weeks participating in virtual learning will return to campus. School Superintendent Dr. John Stryker says the goal has always been to return fully to traditional learning. “At the start of the school year, there was a lot of uncertainty. No one has trained for these times that we are going through. So we were really very cautious and we wanted to provide our parents options so we offered a virtual option.”

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Dr. Stryker says the decision to end virtual learning came after the administration realized the grades of many of the students participating began to suffer. “We used the data from each school and we found that 60 percent of the students choosing the virtual option were failing at least one subject, 40 percent were failing two subjects. In our middle school, we found that 25 percent of our middle schoolers were failing four subjects.”

Dr. Stryker says virtual learning also took a negative toll on teachers who began feeling burnt out.

Dr. Stryker says he knows not everyone in the school district agrees with the decision to end virtual learning. In fact, he says a few parents have already voiced their concerns. One parent, who reached out to News 25, said they would sue the district if their child becomes infected with COVID-19.

Another parent says the students are failing only because the programs are designed for them to. In response, Dr. Stryker had this to say: “They can contact me personally. I’ll even set a time to bring them to school with me. I’ll go that far that if a parent is that concerned they can just contact me and we can do a walk through together. I think if they see the level of care our teachers and administration put in they will feel much better.”