JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell County Board of Education learned at its meeting on Tuesday night that Jacksboro Middle School has been forced to close until the end of November due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases among not just students but staff.

Director Jennifer Fields informed the board that two members of the staff have tested positive while 12 others are under quarantine for the remainder of the month. The number of total cases exceeds the threshold set by the state for switching to online instruction, Fields said.

“Lessons will be online, not virtual, with those students having no access to the Internet provided with packets that include the lessons and homework,” Fields said. She added that parents in all schools who wish to switch their children over to virtual learning for the next semester must submit the application by December 4. That deadline for submitting the paperwork also applies to parents who wish to switch from virtual to in-person or remain with virtual education.

If the board had any lingering doubts that the pandemic is still very much present, three board members – Steve Morgan, Faye Heatherly and Crystal Creekmore all attended via Skype on cellphones. Heatherly added that the Tennessee School Board Association delegate assembly this year was also held online with Lisa Fields, Steve Morgan and Heatherly representing Campbell County.

The board took less than an hour to quickly move through its agenda, approving all financial reports and budget amendments, other routine matters and the transfer of bus contracts on routes 9, 23 and 24 from Robert Angel to new owner Carolyn Baird. Angel will continue to work for the school system as a full time janitor at Jellico Elementary.

The board also approved the calendar for the 2021-22 school year, Fields said one major change will be schools closing for Veteran’s Day next November. That holiday was supplanted this year by the need to close schools on Election Day. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/18/2020-6AM)