Jackson County School District looks ahead to the next semester

Students in the Jackson County School District return to school tomorrow and the district’s superintendent sat down with News 25’s Grant Chighizola this afternoon to discuss his priorities for 2021.

After making it through a fall semester unlike any other due to the challenges presented by COVID-19, Jackson County School Superintendent Dr. John Strycker is eager to begin the next half of the school year. “I’m proud of our school community for supporting us, because that will pay off not only this year and next semester, but in to the future that our kids really didn’t miss a beat.”

Ninety-nine percent of students in the district have returned to a traditional learning format and Strycker says he’s been in contact with Singing River Health System regarding the number of COVID vaccines needed for teachers and staff. “I like the communication from the hospital, from Singing River because it was very, it wasn’t in general, it wasn’t very philosophical, it was ‘what is your count?’ ‘How many employees do you have?’ and I got the number to them, so that was encouraging to me that we’re talking about numbers. In other words, let’s get on this.”

The district is also moving forward with non-pandemic related improvements, most notably the planning of a bond issue for facility improvements at schools following studies done over the past few months. “That data shows us that we do need to make facility improvements, again it’s based on need, and so we’re looking at, it’s tough for me to put a number out there but it’ll be a multi-million dollar bond that we feel will be going to the taxpayers in possibly May.”

But for now, Strycker says the big goals for the semester are getting high school seniors across the stage with no delays and giving students a sense of normalcy. “We’ve already set dates with the Coliseum, so we do plan on holding those graduations, certainly adhering to the rules of the Coliseum, but you know that would fall under what I was talking about. Normalcy for the kids, that’s very important for us, especially those seniors.”

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