UPDATED: Meals for JISD Students Start Monday; Teams Assessing Distance Learning Requirements

Updated: Mar. 23, 2020 at 12:21 p.m. CDT
Published: Mar. 22, 2020 at 2:36 p.m. CDT

jisd-profile-picBy BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor

Jefferson ISD school buses will  bring breakfast and lunch to students and any children in the household under the age of 18 beginning Monday.

“The buses will deliver food to students at their regular pick up locations (if they typically ride the bus to school) approximately two hours after the normal school bus runs or schedule,” Food Service Director Stephanie Holman stated in a post on the district’s Facebook Page.

The buses are set to run Monday through Friday each week while schools are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Breakfast and lunch will be delivered together each morning.

In addition, the district will have “Grab and Go” for students who do not ride the bus.

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“For ‘Grab and Go,’ parents can pick up breakfast and lunch between 8:15 am and 9:30 am at Jefferson Elementary School and Jefferson High School each day,” Holman said.

Elementary Campus pickup location is on Harrison Street. There will be a van in front of the school near the flagpole.

JHS has two pickup locations: parent pick up area and bus run area.

JISD Superintendent Rob Barnwell told the Jimplecute that the district has made progress to meet the crisis since Trustees ordered classes closed last week.

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“I’d say we’re doing well, but this will continue to be a work in progress though,” Barnwell said. 

A survey has been developed that administrators are sharing with “everyone” to help determine who has internet service, the approximate service they have (high speed, limited, etc.) whether or not they have devices, and other things.

Barnwell said efforts to reach students whose homes do not have internet began Monday.

“Our teachers will be contacting their students by phone and email” Barnwell said  “We are gathering information from them regarding their internet capabilities, the tech devices they have and what they need, along with updated contact info and anything else that needs to be communicated. We’ll know more over the next few days.”

With teachers returning, at least virtually, from Spring Break, Barnwell expects more progress to be made on the education front. 

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“We have our tech department and curriculum folks working on setting up the software programs to assist our teachers with the delivery of instruction,” Barnwell said.

Hollman stressed that parents picking up food should bring at least one student.

“The Department of Agriculture requires children to be present during these transactions. Parents/guardians are asked to bring their children to the pick up sites each day so that we can be in compliance with that law,” Hollman said. “However, we do not want this recommendation to cause parents any hardship or reluctance to pick up food. We want to work with you as much as possible.”

The meals are free for all children through the age of 18, even for the young ones who do not yet attend school.

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Those with questions about the food plan may email or call JISD Food Service Director Stephanie Holman at. sgholman@jeffersonisd.org 903-665-2461 Ext. 3003.

An important part of the student body will be served.

“We are also working on plans as to how we go about ensuring the needs of our special education students are met,” Barnwell said.

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