grant-funded needed projects, full-time fine arts

JMCSS Superintendent, Dr. Marlon King, speaks during a Jackson- Madison County School board meeting on Thursday, March 11, 2021 in Jackson, Tenn.

The Jackson-Madison County School System committed itself to focus on academics – including providing a conducive learning environment – arts and athletics during its first year under Superintendent Marlon King’s leadership.

With that commitment, JMCSS is ensuring needed school projects that are being funded through a federal grant are prioritized and completed within a year; is hiring full-time fine arts teachers for each elementary school; and implementing policy changes that give school leadership more autonomy and promote and advance learning.

How soon school projects are happening 

Capital projects, school and building improvement projects across the district, would’ve taken up to five years to complete had JMCSS not requested federal grant funding for those projects.

More than $3.8 million was approved for 21 projects at 14 schools through federal funding under the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) 2.0 grant, meaning those projects can start as soon as the funding is available and within the next year.

Capital school projects upgrade facilities’ roofs, purchase playground equipment, doors, windows and HVAC and expand schools to meet the district’s belief of educating students in a safe, nurturing environment.

Read more: Capital projects, learning initiatives make up JMCSS’ $16 million-plus ESSER 2.0 proposal

School projects were being planned out over five years.

With that five-year layout, which was based on a 2017 TLM maintenance report and district- and school-level observations, JMCSS utilized an ESSER 2.0 column for its proposal to complete projects sooner, as well as a ESSER 3.0 column that will propose projects for that upcoming $37 million allocation.

For example, there were supposed to be new exterior doors placed at Alexander Elementary in 2023, but leadership put that in ESSER 2.0. The $110,000-plus cost was recommended by TLM, JMCSS maintenance and the school principal.

Read More: grant-funded needed projects, full-time fine arts