Remote learning in the Jackson County School System could be an option for students even after the Covid virus has been contained.
In an outline to the Jackson County Board of Education on Jan. 7, system leaders proposed creating a "Connect Academy" that would allow some students to continue remote learning into the next school year.
"The Jackson County School System would like to continue to provide distance learning opportunities in the 21-22 school year for those students who excel and benefit from learning at their own pace and place, by creating one centralized distance learning experience we are calling Connect Academy," states the proposal.
The remote learning academy would be centralized in the system, likely at the new Empower center, and would serve all students across the system. Students would have to apply to do remote learning.
The proposal includes starting the remote learning academy in the systems lower grades of 3-8 before moving into higher grade levels.
Plans call for discussions to begin in January and February with interested students, followed by setting up teachers for the new structure later in the spring.
In board action on Jan., 11, the BOE approved:
• an intergovernmental agreement with the county's other two school systems to hold a SPLOST referendum on March 16. The Jackson County Board of Elections approved calling the election on Jan. 8 in a divided 3-2 vote with Republican board members voting against calling the SPLOST referendum.
• updating its policies regarding public comment at board meetings. The updated policy requires a 24-hours notice to be on the board's agenda; a limited of three minutes per speaker; and an overall limited of 30 minutes for all public comments.
• a job description for a new public relations officer position.
• terminating the lease with Braselton Fine Baking in the old elementary school in Braselton. The company is closing down its bakery.
• extending paid sick leave for employees who are affected by the Covid virus.