JACKSON, Tenn. – Families of K-12 students in Jackson-Madison County will continue to have solid options for virtual and traditional learning as Jackson-Madison County Schools System leaders invest in both platforms. Students attending the district’s CyberSchool, Jackson Academic STEAM Academy (JASA), worked with teachers at various school locations throughout the first year of the pandemic. This type of environment was not the most efficient way to serve our students. To better support our families, JMCSS partnered with Union University to rent space so that the vision and mission of the program could become a reality.

After one semester of holding occupancy in the Adult and Professional Services Building (formerly Circuit City), district leaders saw purchasing the building at 1938 Emporium Drive as an excellent investment for the system’s CyberSchool platform. Having a permanent home for JASA staff and students allows the school to implement innovative programs such as esports and much more. Without proper space and resources, it is nearly impossible to achieve this mission.

“Students in the secondary grades will gain the largest benefit of this investment as it makes permanent our use of that facility. Currently, all JASA students have access to this location for academic resources and social engagement. JMCSS plans to reserve the space for 6-12 CyberSchool student use in the fall,” Deputy Superintendent Dr. Vivian Williams said..

The historic Malesus Elementary School building in South Jackson will serve as the academic support and engagement location for Prek-5 CyberSchool students once ongoing improvements to Malesus are completed. Of the $16 million allocated to JMCSS through ESSER 2.0 federal funds, the system is investing by purchasing Union’s Adult Studies building for roughly $1.8 million. Additionally, ESSER funds will be used to upgrade Malesus. Due to inflation and delays, the Malesus location is taking longer to open; as a result, the Union building purchase provides an immediate place for JASA students to continue receiving academic support and social engagement this school year.

“This is definitely a worthy investment as it allows us to build out our CyberSchool platform and attract additional families to our public school system. We know homeschool parents appreciate spaces for academic support and extracurricular activities like our Esports program. This will be a selling point for our district,” said Board chairman James “Pete” Johnson.

“Dr. Williams and our academics team are in the final stages of mapping out dual enrollment tracks between our CyberSchool and Union University. Providing early access to postsecondary curriculum and college credit for our students is another reason for families in Jackson-Madison County to choose us. Our partnership with Union provides us with another avenue to do that,” Superintendent Dr. Marlon King said.

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