LCSD discusses online learning; free meal program as kids are away from school

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) As students are away from classes until at least April 17, the Lauderdale County School District discussed the importance of online education during Tuesday's board meeting.

The online education program is called H.E.R.O.E.S to honor teachers for being heroes to students during this time by ensuring they are still receiving an education away from the classroom.

The topic of families that are unable to access online education was brought up as some may not have internet access or a working computer.

LCSD Superintendent Dr. John-Mark Cain discussed how the district is trying to work through this obstacle.

"We've reached out to companies, we've researched various hotspot apparatuses trying to figure out ways we can meet students where they need and with what they need," Dr. Cain explained. "It's an ongoing process and we're asking for parents to provide feedback to their connectivity options and what they have available so we can help meet those kids where they are."

Another topic discussed was the district's child nutrition program which is believed to be affected by the coronavirus.

To ensure children are still being fed while away from school, the district has created a meal distribution program that will begin Mar. 25 and is said to continue until students return to school.

Meals will be distributed from 11 am to 1 pm at Clarkdale Attendance Center, Northeast Elementary School, Southeast High School and West Lauderdale Middle School. Children do not have to be an LCSD student to receive a meal.

Newscenter 11 also asked Dr. Cain about graduation and if having in-person graduations across the district is likely.

"There has been a lot of discussion around the state between superintendents and principals about what our options may look like," Dr. Cain said. "It could end up being something digital, it could be something that is delayed. We understand how special of a moment it is to our seniors and their parents so we are going to look at every avenue and do all we can but we also have to follow the guidelines of the state."

Amid the discussion of various topics, the board also named Josh Herrington Northeast Lauderdale High School's new principal.

Herrington, a 2005 West Lauderdale graduate, shared how the hire is a homecoming for him.

"Lauderdale County School District is my home," Herrington said. "It's where I graduated from and to have the leadership of Dr. Cain, I am very excited to work for him and to be working at Northeast High School."

Herrington spent the last three years as assistant principal at Meridian High School.