Jackson mother of seven lays out plan to send kids back to school safely

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – We continue our Coronavirus coverage impacting families decision making in the Jackson Public School District as reopen plans get finalized. 

How are families feeling about the options unfolding?

You’ve heard from politicians and officials at all government levels debating about how schools should safely reopen this fall to make sure students and teachers stay healthy. Now we talk to families here in Jackson to find out what they’re experiencing has been and want to see going forward. 

With the state leaving most decisions on reopening schools to districts and pressure from the federal government to open on time. Families like the Patton’s in Jackson grew antsy. 

“A lot of the parents had the feeling of what to do next?” Khaklia Patton, mother of seven told us. “A little anxiety there and Apprehension, you know you’re not really sure what to do.”

Since March Khaklia Patton found herself raising and teaching all seven of her children who range from pre-school to 12th grade. Like any parent, she sees the positives for why they should be back in the classroom. 

“I’m just not wanting to separate them from being social with their peers and teachers and everything,” Patton continued. “So, I just think it’s very important for children to interact with other children so they can learn.”

More than usual, her kids are showing high enthusiasm to go back. 

“I’m just looking forward to the season like football and soccer season,” Forest Hill Sr. Joshua Patton said. “Looking forward to that because it’s my last year and I’m trying to show out trying to get looked at.”

“I’m going to be wearing my mask and putting on hand sanitizer every day,” Cardozo Middle Schooler Jessica Patton added. “Before I got to school and when I go to the bathroom and eat. I stay six feet apart from them.”

The CDC has released guidelines for how schools can reopen safely which includes reduced class sizes and fewer lunches in the cafeteria. The Patton’s tell us JPS is offering everyone to only come in 2-3 days a week and take other courses online. 

“We’re not going to be fearful; we’re not going to walk in fear,” Khaklia said. “I told my children, look they’re all excited about school and I’m excited for them. They’re ready to get on board.”

We reached out to Jackson Public Schools for more of a breakdown of their reopening plan, but they said they’ll be releasing it later this week. For more districts who have already released their reopening plan click here.

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