Jackson Public Schools had to send students home early from school today, after the city of Jackson experienced even more water main breaks due to the icy cold weather. JPS students have missed seven days of school so far in the new year, and students had just returned to classes on Thursday, Jan. 18.
Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency for schools, due to the inclement weather starting on Monday Jan. 15, this week. That emergency declaration means school districts can ask the Mississippi Department of Education to get an exception from the 180 school day-requirement. The State Board of Education will have to approve the exceptions for districts, according to state law.
JPS has been out of school since Monday, Jan. 8, however, due to water pressure problems. When the cold snap hit the city of Jackson, the city’s water system experienced over 100 water main breaks, leaving several schools without water pressure for sewage facilities and for heating the buildings. JPS students missed the entire week of school from Jan. 8 to Jan. 12. The district will have to makeup some school days regardless of the governor’s emergency declaration as a result. How many days they have to make up will now depend on how MDE chooses to allow the district leeway.