Laurel School District is feeding students and preparing to offer online education while classrooms are closed until April 17, by Gov. Tate Reeves’ order. St. John’s Day School is following suit. Laurel Christian School is out this week and taking a wait-and-see approach. And Jones County School District officials will meet at noon Wednesday to figure out their next steps.

Superintendent Tommy Parker sent a memo to county administrators, teachers and support staff on Sunday saying that school leaders “felt a strong obligation to provide some sort of educational services to our students,” but there are no plans for that at present. Online instruction isn’t possible, he wrote, because “many of our students do not have (internet) access or devices.” 

Plans to offer curbside lunches at the three county high schools were kicked to the curb for the time-being, as were plans for teachers to put together some sort of “educational packets” to distribute to students.

“As the situation has changed in regard to the COVID 19 virus since last Thursday, so have our plans,” Parker wrote. “No lunches will be served. No educational packets will be distributed.”

Some “educational resources” will be provided on district and school websites to assist students and parents while they are at home, he wrote.

Meanwhile, the central office will be closed to the public while a “limited staff” works there to handle payroll, emergencies and to answer calls. Transportation and maintenance offices will be closed.

The school board will meet at noon Wednesday to discuss how to proceed.

“We are in the process of working on a paperless enrichment plan for our students,” Parker said. With board approval, “we hope to have it in place next Monday.”

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