When the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, schools closed and virtual classrooms became the norm.
But along with that, a lot of parents pulled their children out of public schools to homeschool.
Although schools have returned, more or less, to a regular in-class schedule this year in the area, not every student has come back into the public classroom.
In 2018-2019, before the pandemic hit, the Jackson County School System had 75 students noted as being homeschooled (homeschools have to register with the state.)
in 2019-2020, that shot up to 199 students. Many of those, 128, were in elementary school grades.
For the current year, that has fallen to 131 homeschooled students, but there are actually more high school students being homeschooled now than during 2020.
Currently, the system has 48 high school students registered as homeschooled compared to 38 last year and 32 the year before the pandemic hit.
The question of homeschooled students came up during a recent meeting of the Jackson County Board of Education where officials noted that if a large number of these homeschooled students suddenly decided to regain to regular classrooms, it could put the school system in a bind to quickly hire more teachers and provide more classroom space.
The degree of homeschooling has been pretty equal across the system, officials said, with no particular school having significantly more than the others.