Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene speaks during a public meeting about the findings of the student based study on the school district during a public meeting at the Jackson Convention Complex Thursday, November 29, 2018.

Jackson Public School District announced it will resume in-person learning in January of next year after operating entirely virtually during the fall semester.

High school basketball and soccer programs will resume in December, and middle school sports will begin again in January.

School will resume virtually on Jan. 5, but students will have the option to return on Jan. 19 after a “self-quarantine period” following the holidays, according to a document emailed to employees on Friday.

Elementary schoolers will be able to return to school five days a week, and middle and high schoolers will have the option to attend a hybrid program. Proper social distancing and “enhanced cleaning” will be put in place, the document stated.

Superintendent Errick Greene cited several reasons for the decision, including the social and emotional needs of students.

Those needs “are great, and it’s very difficult to offer support for those needs virtually,” he stated in a letter to parents and employees.

He also cited recent news surrounding a COVID-19 vaccine, and said the district has learned from other schools who have run in-person school during the pandemic.

All plans will be subject to change, the district noted, and the proposed transition must be approved by the school board at its meeting on Dec. 1.

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Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.