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JC Schools addresses internet, food concerns ahead of COVID-19 closure


Tuesday will be the last day Jefferson City School District students will be in a classroom until early April.

The district announced Tuesday that it will close on Wednesday until at least April 3 due to concerns about the spreading coronavirus, COVID-19.

MORE: Eighth positive test for COVID-19 announced in Missouri

Online classes will become the norm during the closure. Every student in grades 2-12 will receive a Chromebook laptop before leaving school Tuesday.

JC Schools Board of Education members discussed accessibility to food, internet and other services at their meeting on Monday.

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, “parents are going to working less, their paychecks are going to be smaller, and there’s going to be less money for food," said board member Stephanie Johnson.

District staff will still offer breakfast and lunch for every student during the workweek, according to Dana Doerhoff, the district's nutrition director.

Families can drive to one of eight school buildings where meals will be given out. At each pick-up, parents will receive lunch and breakfast for the following day.

The district sent out a survey Tuesday night, asking families if they will take advantage of the offered meals.

“If you intend to pick up food, please say so," Doerhoff said. "So we are preparing enough food and don’t have too much prepared where there’s waste.”

The survey will also ask families if they have internet access, which will be vital for online classes.

Technology Director Joe Martin said there are no local internet providers offering free service for those without a connection during the closure.

The district, according to Martin, will have internet hotspots functioning at every building. They will be accessible from each parking lot so students can connect from outside.

"(Students will) have access to internet at any one of our buildings," Martin said. "Of the things we can control and help families, that’s the best we can do right now."

Click here to access the Jefferson City School District website.

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Barry Mangold

Barry Mangold reports for ABC 17 News on weekday evenings and anchors weekend evening broadcasts.


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