Superintendent Chronicle

Thursday, September 10, 2020

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Weekly Update from Superintendent Dr. Marlon King

Keeping the Community Informed: Exchange Club visit


I want to begin by thanking the Jackson Exchange Club for inviting me to their monthly meeting on Tuesday. It was an opportunity for me to share some of the broader district goals and procedures. I shared a few budget details as I have started the process of examining fiscal savings and adjustments for the 2021-2022 school year. We’ve managed to save over $100,000 in reorganizing the structure of the district’s executive team. Additionally, we have worked successfully to bring in additional revenue through grants and others opportunities. I also explained the positive impact of Senior Leadership meetings among our district’s principals. Whether it’s with district staff or meeting with our community neighbors, communication has been the winning formula. I look forward to future visits with civic organizations in our community.

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Timeline for In-Person Learning Option Takes Shape

Our principals have spoken. We’re on our way to the return of in-person instruction. Actually, many students have been on our campuses in small numbers for several weeks. However, the countdown to in-person instruction, district-wide and five days a week, is underway. Getting to this point has been a two-step process that began with our Return to School Safe team meeting on Wednesday.

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It was an opportunity for local health and medical officials to hear district leaders outline goals and concerns related to the return to in-person instruction. Conversely, it was an opportunity for health professionals to reiterate best practices and procedures for schools to adhere to when in-person instruction begins. Now what that in-person instruction begins and what it will look like will be determined by our school administrators during our monthly Senior Leadership Meeting.

District Principals Decide on Hybrid Return

Lead principals from our 24 schools met at the Central Office today to determine what the transition from hybrid to in-person instruction will look like. A meeting like this might seem rare for other school districts, but our principals have been collaborating together on a monthly basis since July.

During our Senior Leadership Meeting on Thursday, September 10th, principals worked in small groups to determine the details of our re-entry calendar and our transitional return to in-person learning - 5-days per week - for those families who desire face to face instruction for their students. Updated calendar details will be shared with our families on Monday as our principals stated a desire to make their staff aware of these updates first. Our Senior Leadership meetings have been one of the winning elements of this administration since my first month as superintendent in the Jackson-Madison County School System.

Covid-19 and the Push for Better Outcomes

As of Wednesday, there were 91 students and staff members within our district who are in isolation or quarantine. Last week that number was 105. If we all work together, every student and every employee in our district can do their part to assist in the efforts of making that number go down.

We’ll make mistakes, but that should not stop us from being diligent in: Wearing our masks, Washing our hands, and Keeping our distance. Our health and medical professionals continue to tell us COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. There will be challenges. For example, practicing a safe social distance on the school bus is impossible. That does not mean we can’t take safety measures to decrease the spread of the virus. We will continue to adhere to the guidance of our health professionals. We will navigate through this - TOGETHER.

Celebrating with our Employees: Happy Birthday!

We should never let life’s challenges keep us from recognizing moments of celebration. I spent some time this week signing birthday cards for employees who celebrated birthdays in the months of July, August and September. Now, more than ever, we should pause to celebrate the blessings of life and growth. If you have already celebrated your birthday this school year, you will receive a card wishing you a belated Happy Birthday. Please know that I consider it the honor of a lifetime to serve this district as superintendent. Celebrating our employees is one of the perks of the job.

Take a look at our FAQ page updates concerning questions related to the Re-Entry Phase of our New Normal Initiative https://jmcss.org/domain/1476
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