Jefferson County Schools Update from Director Johnston

In a statement from Director of Schools, Shane Johnston – The Covid numbers in our schools have recently increased, but there has been an even greater jump in the number of students quarantined. This is consistent with trends in school districts throughout the state. The numbers do not reflect an enormous increase in active cases, but a combination of cases, quarantining, and other normal sicknesses that fall and winter bring to our part of the state.

We will continue to monitor these numbers along with the impacts this is having on staffing include teachers, assistants, cafeteria staffs, bus drivers and the ability to secure substitute teachers when the need arises.

Families are reminded of the message we have shared since July & August, PLEASE have plans in place for your child should the school system have to move to increased distance learning days, staggered schedules, grade level or building level closures, or even district wide building closure.

We are not at the point of needing to implement any of these yet, but families are reminded to have plans in place. I am fully aware of the hardship many of these decisions may place on families and work schedules, but please prepare in the event we must implement one, or more, of these steps.

There is an updated call planned for next week to address the next distance learning days regarding the incremental approach that has been used to help learn the proper use of the devices and how to effectively utilize the instructional pieces of the programs. Additionally, we will provide updated information on meal distribution. The next distance learning days are Monday, November 23, 2020 and Tuesday, November 24, 2020.

Lastly, we are continuing to work in collaboration with the health department when issues arise in school. Many times, wrong information is rumored, but our schools will continue to make decisions based on the guidance and feedback being provided by the local health department in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health.

As always, a huge thank you to our teachers and employees for their dedication and very hard work they are doing each day. Thanks for your support and our desire is everyone remains safe and healthy.