Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a topic to jump to the FAQs in that section! More FAQs coming soon.
General FAQs • Virtual Learning Options • Before and After School Care • Breakfast and Lunch • CyberSchool • Dress Code • Occupational Therapy • Pre-K • Protocol • School Nutrition • Special Education • Student Health • Teachers and Staff • Technology • Transportation • Virtual classroom
Updated 1/3/2021 at 1:00 p.m.
Q. When will the Pandemic EBT cards be available?
A. Your child's school will contact you to set up a time for you to pick-up your child's P-EBT card. Click here to check out the TN Department of Human Services webpage for additional information on P-EBT assistance.
Q. Will there be a fall break? When will we have an updated 2020-2021 calendar?
Q. How many students will be in a class setting?
A. We will have a more definitive answer once students have signed up for the Virtual classroom and CyberSchool options.We will social distance to the highest extent possible.
New! Q. If I signed up for one option, but have changed my mind, what do I do?
A. Contact you child's teacher to begin the process of changing options. As a reminder, CyberSchool is a year long learning option and can't be changed this school year.
Before and After School Care
New! Q. Will Before and After School Care be offered this school year?A. Yes. We will continue to offer before and after school care starting on 9/21/2020 for those students who attend in-person. Before care will start at 6:30 a.m. and after care will be until 5:30 p.m. Click here for additional information about before/after care.
Q. Will dress code be enforced this school year?
A. Yes. There are no changes to the dress code policy.
Q. Will the dress code extend to the face masks and face shields?
A. There are no restrictions on the color of face masks, but they must be appropriate for school.
Q. What is the dress code for students participating in Virtual classroom?
A. The JMCSS dress code will apply to students participating in Virtual classroom.
Q. Does the dress code apply to CyberSchool students?A. While our dress code will not change for in-person instruction, we understand the difficulty of enforcing the dress code for our virtual and CyberSchool students. Students choosing our virtual and CyberSchool options are asked to be appropriately dressed, whether in or out of dress code, and use digital devices (tablets/laptop) in common areas – such as a living room or dining room. Our teachers will monitor and report inappropriate dress to school principals.
Q. If my student enrolls in CyberSchool, will they still be eligible to participate in athletics?
A. Yes, JMCSS students who participate in CyberSchool will be eligible to participate in athletics through their home school. Note that students who were previously homeschooled but now choose to register for CyberSchool will be counted as a transfer student by TSSAA and will therefore be ineligible for athletics for a season.
Q. How will the shift to distance learning affect athletics?
A. Please view our latest update on athletics here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/TDTklp7llZlWG/
Q. Will masks be required?
A. Based on Gov. Lee's amendment to Executive Order 54, the Jackson-Madison County School System will require the use of face coverings for teachers, students, and support staff while on campus. This requirement will continue to extend to our school bus riders as well. Contact your school's office directly to communicate any pre-existing health issues that would impact your child's ability to wear a face covering.
Based on recommendations from the Tennessee Department of Health Recommendations for the Management of COVID-19 in Schools:
All staff should always wear a cloth face covering while on campus unless they have trouble breathing or are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.
A face shield is not a substitute for a cloth face covering but may be worn in addition to a cloth face covering. See detailed guidance below:
- Unless a student has trouble breathing or is unable to remove a cloth face covering without assistance, all middle school and high school students should always wear a cloth face covering while in the school building. Middle and high school students may remove their cloth face covering when outdoors so long as social distancing can be maintained.
- Unless a student has trouble breathing or is unable to remove a cloth face covering without assistance or is sleeping, all elementary students should wear a cloth face covering while in the school building. Elementary students may remove their cloth face covering when outdoors. Students who continuously play with, suck on, or chew their face covering should be excused from wearing one, as should students who will not tolerate a face covering.
- Preschool children under age 2 years should not wear cloth face coverings. Young children who will not tolerate wearing a cloth face covering or who continuously play with, suck on, or chew their face covering, should be excused from wearing one.
Q. Can I wear a face shield instead of a mask?
A. No, per the TN Health Department, a face shield is not a replacement for a cloth mask. JMCSS will require cloth face masks for all teachers, students, and support staff while on campus. However, teachers will be allowed to use face shields when instruction requires their faces/mouth to be seen.
Q. What steps will be used to social distance?
A. The principals will strive to align classroom schedules to accommodate social distancing. The use of visual markers for spacing will also be posted to help with social distancing. Our goal is to follow CDC guidelines as best as we can.
Q. What additional protocols will be in place to protect students and teachers?
A. Hand hygiene - Upon entry into the building each morning and often during the day, hand-washing is vital to prevent the spread of germs. Education on proper hand-washing will take place for all ages. Alcohol based hand sanitizer will be made available and used often during the school; this will not, however, take the place of hand-washing. This is an additional measure to prevent the spread of germs.
Temperature checks - all students and staff will have temperature checks each morning upon arrival to school. Standing temperature scanners and handheld temperature scanners are to be used on our campuses.
Social distancing measures will be implemented in an effort to keep students and staff at safe distances as much as possible. Creating cohorts with our classes will assist in decreasing the number of interactions during the school day with other students. These cohorts will become the “school social circles” for those students.
Q. What happens if there is a case in my school? What happens if there is a case in my class? What if I test positive and need to be quarantined? Do I have to use my sick days?
A. We have a protocol in conjunction with our local health officials to address any cases or possible exposures. Each situation will be evaluated to ensure safety of our staff and students and the actions will based on a case by case scenario. Safety is our first priority.
Q. At what point would you all close schools?
A. We will be communicating and evaluating each situation in partnership with our local health officials to monitor absences and reported illnesses closely. As we return to school during this pandemic, we will follow local, state and federal guidelines and recommendations.
Q. Is there going to be a district recommendation for dealing with car riders since they usually gather in large numbers in the gym or cafeteria? Is this something that the schools will have to figure out themselves?A. We realize there may be additional car riders due to efforts by parents to socially distance their children from others. Each principal will have their plans in place to accommodate the traffic flow and getting the children into the building in a safe and orderly manner. School plans will not place students in large gatherings in the cafeteria or gym.
Q. If a student in my classroom gets COVID will the teacher and entire classroom have to be quarantined for 14 days?
A. The protocol will address each individual situation based on the guidance from the local health officials.
Q. How many times a day will the students be able to wash their hands?
A. Principals have been asked to assess how many times per day students are scheduled for restroom breaks and additional breaks will be added if they are not already in place. Students will be expected to wash their hands at the beginning of the day, before they eat, after PE, and recess. The use of hand sanitizers will be implemented in the classrooms when they are unable to wash their hands. The protocol will address proper hand hygiene often during the day. Schedules will accommodate additional time for proper hand hygiene. Students will be educated on proper hand hygiene as well as cough and sneeze etiquette.
Q. Is Pre-K included in the Virtual classroom or CyberSchool option?
A. Yes. Virtual classroom and CyberSchool are options for Pre-K students.
Q. Will computers be made available for Pre-K students who choose virtual options?
A. No. Students may use their personal devices for viewing video lessons, or receive academic packets aligned to Pre-K standards. Additionally, frequent parent communication will be essential.
Q. What will Virtual Classroom or CyberSchool options look like for Pre-K students?A. Click here to download a summary of our Pre-K options.
School Nutrition Services
Q. Will there be free meal pick up options for students?
A. JMCSS school nutrition services will continue to provide meals, safely prepared and nutritious, at schools and for virtual and CyberSchool learners. All enrolled students will continue to receive breakfast and lunch meals at no cost. For additional information, see our emergency feeding plan here.
Q. What will the students do for lunches? Will they eat in the cafeteria or classrooms?
A. Meal time at schools may include meals eaten in classrooms and socially distanced cafeteria dining. School cafeterias will also be offering “grab and go” meal service for students learning off campus. Details regarding meal service times and menus will be available on the District‘s website soon!
Q. What protocols will be in place to protect students and staff during meal times and preparation?
A. Hand washing/sanitizer will be required upon receipt of meals. Meals will be plated and served by a school nutrition staff member. Instructions and signage will provide protocol for social distancing and safety. Disposable wares will be used for meals. Proper health and hygiene practices will apply to staff, as well as all health and food preparation/food holding/meal service procedures. All school nutrition activity will be consistent with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures, all food preparation/food holding/meal service procedures will apply.
Special Education and Occupational Therapy
Q. How will special education services be facilitated such as speech for kids who participate in the CyberSchool or Virtualclassroomprogram?
A. Students with IEPs that select CyberSchool or virtual will receive all related services (Speech, PT, and OT services) by teletherapy services.
Q. Will a student with an IEP need to schedule a revision of that IEP to accommodate CyberSchool and virtual options?
A. Student IEP’s won’t change due to Virtual classroom or CyberSchool. Services will be provided. The only adjustment is the way we deliver the services.
Q. Will students in the YES program have an alternate schedule based on their needs when selecting the CyberSchool or Virtual classroom options?
A. Yes, the special education (YES) teacher will contact the parent(s) to determine a schedule that will work for the student.
Teachers and Staff
Q. What will the protocol be for sick/paid days if a teacher has to quarantine due to COVID-19?A. Any employee who is required to quarantine by a medical professional, from now until December 31, 2020, will receive 10 days full pay under the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCA). If the employee remains off work past the 10 days, he/she will have to use any appropriate leave time that he/she has available. This leave is not automatic and must be requested and accompanied by the appropriate documentation. When requesting paid sick leave under the FFCA, the employee must first notify their direct supervisor who will contact Debra Eanes, Employee Relations Coordinator. Ms. Eanes will contact the employee and request the following:
- The dates for which leave is requested.
- The reason for leave.
- The name of the government entity that issued the order. If the employee requests leave to self-quarantine based on the advice of a health care provider, the employee must provide the name of the health care provider and a physician’s statement.
Q. I have vulnerable and at-risk family and do not feel safe returning. Am I being forced to choose between my job and my family’s safety?
A. The health and safety of our employees and students are of our utmost concern. Each employee should discuss their individual concerns with their direct supervisors. The supervisor will then put that employee in touch with someone in the Human Capital Office to assess their situation on an individual basis. We encourage each employee to explore reasonable accommodations, if possible, or telework options that may be available according to their job class.
Q. What are the start dates for employees who aren’t teachers and work five extra days? Ex: Consulting teachers, ICs, etc.
A. Employees who were scheduled to work prior to the original first day of in-service should have already started or should start according to the duty schedule.
Q: Will subs be trained to do virtual learning?A. Each school principal has the option to invite their respective subs to inservice and other trainings should they choose to prepare a pool of substitutes for virtual teaching.
Q. Will the district provide internet access if students don't have access?
A. Yes. JMCSS will provide WiFi to those students who need internet access for virtual learning.
New! Q. Will buses run this year?
A. Yes. When schools open with the traditional option, buses will run on the normal bell schedule.
New! Q. How can I find out my student's bus information?A. All schools have access to bus route data. Therefore, parents should call their school if they have questions about the bus schedule. Schools can look this information up by name or address. The data will give them the bus number, approximated time of the pickup, and the bus stop location.
Q. What protocol will be in place to protect students and staff on buses?
A. Since social distancing will be difficult inside our school buses, the use of masks and best practices will be followed. Masks must be worn at all times by students and staff while on the school bus. Students will have assigned seats and family members will be required to sit together when possible. Each bus will be disinfected by the driver between morning and afternoon routes. Requests will be made for parental support at large bus stops (this is to help younger students with social distance measures, have masks on, and board orderly). There will be an empty seat directly behind the driver.
Virtual Options (virtual school and CyberSchool)
Q. What is the difference between the virtual classroom option and the CyberSchool option?
A. The virtual classroom option will be 9-weeks of instruction facilitated by your child’s teacher. This will include daily contact- 5 days a week; as students will use their district issued laptop or tablet to observe lessons during their scheduled class period. The virtual classroom option will parallel with the traditional six-and-a-half-hour school day. Students will use their district issued laptop or tablet to login to attend their classes, virtually, each class period and in real time. Scheduled breaks between classes will be given – just as they occur for those students who attend in person. Attendance for the virtual classroom will be noted and kept. Assignments, Grades, and Teacher feedback can be viewed by parents in PowerSchool. You will be able to make a decision to continue virtual learning after 9-weeks or move forward to traditional in-person learning on campus.
The CyberSchool option, which will mirror closely to the Tennessee Virtual Academy, is a permanent option for the school year. Unlike the virtual classroom, CyberSchool will not be six and a half hours in front of a computer. There are scheduled communications and check in points for English Language Arts and mathematics. Much of the learning is video based; however the video instruction is provided by teachers who have been assigned to our CyberSchool. CyberSchool teachers will check in with students virtually to provide assignments, and to provide direct instruction and teaching. Registration for our virtual classroom option – and Our CyberSchool option are now available on our district website. The registration deadline is August 1st.
*Students who choose virtual classroom or CyberSchool will not lose their open enrollment spot; including spots at JCM-ECHS, Madison, Middle School Academic Academy at Northeast, and Community Montessori.
Q. If my student enrolls in Virtual school or CyberSchool, will they lose their open enrollment seat?
A. Students who choose Virtual classroom or CyberSchool will not lose their open enrollment spot; including spots at JCM-ECHS, Madison, Middle School Academic Academy at Northeast, and Community Montessori.
Q. I registered for CyberSchool/Virtual classroom but did not get a confirmation email.
A. Please call your school office during business hours if you did not receive a confirmation email or if you believe the information in the email to be incorrect. We will not be accepting changes after the 8/5 deadline but will be happy to answer questions and confirm your registration choice.
Q. I signed up for CyberSchool but the email I received said virtual, what do I do to fix this?
A. Please call your school office during business hours if you did not receive a confirmation email or if you believe the information in the email to be incorrect. We will not be accepting changes after the 8/5 deadline but will be happy to answer questions, ensure your contact information is up to date, and confirm your registration choice.
Q. For CyberSchool, what school is the "home" school for the cyber option?
A. For all CyberSchool students, their home school is their zoned school.
Q. Will CyberSchool have the same school calendar as traditional students?
A. Yes, the school calendar will be the same for all students regardless of which option they choose.
Q. Will all students who opt in to CyberSchool or Virtual classroom receive a device?
A. All K-12 students who need a device in order to participate in Virtual classroom or CyberSchool will receive a school device to use for this purpose.
Q. Will students be able to use a personally-owned device (laptop or desktop computer) to participate in virtual learning options?
Q. How will students receive a district device if they opt in to Virtual classroom or CyberSchool?
A. You will hear from your child's school mid-August with information on how and when to pick up the device from the school.
Q. What classes are required for students who choose CyberSchool?
A. The graduation requirements are the same for all students, regardless of what option they choose.
Q. Will students new to the district be able to opt in to Virtual classroom or CyberSchool after August 1st?
Q. What is the dress code for students participating in Virtual classrooom?
A. The JMCSS dress code will apply to students participating in Virtual classroom.
Q. Does the dress code apply to virtual and CyberSchool students?A. While our dress code will not change for in-person instruction, we understand the difficulty of enforcing the dress code for our virtual and CyberSchool students. Students choosing our virtual and CyberSchool options are asked to be appropriately dressed, whether in or out of dress code, and use digital devices (tablets/laptop) in common areas – such as a living room or dining room. Our teachers will monitor and report inappropriate dress to school principals.
Q. What curriculum will the CyberSchool and Virtual classroom students use for online learning?
A. The district will use its core curriculum, plus iReady, Edmentum, Apex, and other teacher-assigned digital curriculum resources.
New! Q. When will I hear from my child's teacher?
A. If you have not heard from your child's teacher at this point, please email your child's principal to resolve any communication issues you may be experiencing this semester. To find your principal's email, go to your school's website and select "Principal's Bio" from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.
Q. Will my child have lessons or just complete work?
A. Students will work through the curriculum lessons at their own pace. Students will receive a schedule for Live Class which they can also attend for daily lessons from the curriculum.
Q. What if my child cannot log on to attend the Live Class?
A. For CyberSchool, attending Live Class is optional. The teacher will record the Live Class and share the link with students.
Q. Will the lessons have deadlines for completing work?
A. Each lesson will have an expected Due Date. In addition, students will have a suggested Pacing Guide for completing lessons.
Q. How are the lessons laid out?
A. Our teachers are currently adapting and designing our current JMCSS adopted curriculum for student-led lessons. Students will move through modules, units, and lessons based on the curriculum structure for the course. For most lessons, students will submit all their work, quizzes, assessments, and tests through Blackboard.
Q. Is my child going to understand the work? What if my child gets stuck or doesn't know what is going on?
A. Our teachers are designing grade-level lessons, but we know that some students will need extra support. Teachers will offer a Live Class each day as well as Office Hours where students can receive extra support. Teachers may assign iReady or other skill-building assignments in addition to the grade-level curriculum to help fill student individual learning gaps.
Q. What subjects will my child work on?
A. All students will study English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. For younger grades, the science and social studies content may be embedded in their reading lessons. K-8 students and some high school students will also take Physical Education and a Fine Art per state requirements. Our high schools are working to develop appropriate Cyber elective courses which we will release soon.
Q. What supplies will my child need?
A. Teachers will communicate a supply list when school starts.
Q. How do I know if my device will work with the Cyber School platform?
A. We have chosen platforms that have stated they are compatible with most devices. Contact your child's teacher if you have tech problems. If the teacher cannot resolve the issue, we will connect you with one of our tech department staff members.
Q. Will my student take tests at home?
A. Students will take their course tests at home. The district may require students to report to school for specific district-level tests. Students will report to school buildings for all State or National Assessments.
Q. Will the school have a web page?
A. Visit www.jmcss.org, then click on "our schools," then click on JMC CyberSchool.
Q. Will my child's teacher be available throughout the day to help?
A. Teachers will have a Live Class each day and will hold a one hour "Office Hour/Study Hall" where students can ask questions.
Q. What if my child is absent?
A. CyberSchool students are required to "attend" daily. We will track attendance through daily logins and at least 3 submissions of work in each class per week.
A. What if my child's teacher is sick?
Q. Students can still complete work independently, even when the teacher is absent.
A. What if my child is sick?
Q. If your child is sick, please notify your child's teacher.
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