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Jeff Beal, Superintendent
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year at Jackson Public Schools! My name is Jeff Beal and I am your superintendent.
It is always a great day to be a Viking. Thanks to the overwhelming support for our 2018 bond, construction is well underway. You will please pardon our dust at Jackson High School for the aquatic center; that construction is underway and is scheduled to take about 18 months. Construction is scheduled to wrap up out at Northeast Elementary by January 2020. Construction out at Cascades Elementary is underway and that is also scheduled to take about 18 months. There are also other projects on the docket; from Lincoln, to Hunt, Dibble, that are going to take shape and take off during the 2019-2020 school year, and so it is a very exciting time to be a Viking.
With the new construction, we are updating our safety and security; that was one of the main primary focuses for our bond. We are going to have extensive training every year, beyond just the physical sight plant of the building. Security professionals are coming into the district, working with all staff at every building on enhanced training.
Jackson Public Schools is the best place to work, to learn and to grow. Our Young 5’s are offering some wonderful opportunities for students coming into kindergarten, ready to learn those kindergarten-ready skills and truly become lifelong learners. I am thrilled with the programming and I hope that you’ll take a chance to visit our elementary schools to learn more.
Our Early College is offering options and I truly believe this is the wave of the future for every student within Jackson Public Schools. If you are a parent or a student, it is important that you understand Jackson Public Schools is the only school in the county that offers completely free options for you to earn up to 60 credits; those credits can be towards a certificate, a two-year degree or if you want a four-year transferable degree to any college, there’s ways to do that. Please come and talk to our counselors and we’ll get you more information.
Additionally, we have Mandarin returning to Jackson Public Schools for the third year in a row. This is through a partnership with the U.S. State Department. It is a great opportunity for our kids. Also connected with the bond, we are going to be ramping up and rolling out even more options with our computer science wing. As that construction returns to the high school, you’ll see a computer science wing take form. We are working with community partners, from Consumers Energy to JAMA to United Way, where we are going to be bringing more workforce readiness, more job-related approaches for students and more opportunities for them to get out of the classroom and onto the job sight. I am very pleased with the work. If you have questions about that, reach out to Willie Lewis at our Pathways program.
If you are interested in online learning or if you’re a home-school parent and you want curriculum, I hope you’ll reach out to Fred Parker Jr. over at SCMV. We are running one of the most comprehensive and unique blended learning virtual environments in the State of Michigan. We’ve doubled-down, we’ve invested heavily, not just in online curriculum, but also in certified teaching staff who work with kids, who bring them into the sight at Jackson Crossing to provide them with very rich opportunities and the support and scaffolding they need to be successful.
Jackson Public Schools is a great place to be. Keep in mind, we’ve got the best programming, we’ve got the best staff and we’re building some of the best facilities in the state.
I am looking forward to a great year. The 2019-2020 school year is going to be a wonderful year to be a Viking. Believe the hype! Come visit our programs, talk to our principals, walk through, share the experience with your children. We’ve got so many great things going on; if you can’t find it here in Jackson Public Schools, you can’t find it anywhere.