Jackson public schools are scrambling to deal with the aftermath of stolen and damaged air conditioning units with less than two weeks before classes begin.
About a week ago officials discovered that 50 units were targeted at seven schools. Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray said the damage is believed to have occurred mainly at night.
JPS Campus Enforcement and Jackson Police are working together to find those responsible. Patrols are being beefed up around the schools, and officials are asking you to contact police if you have any information.
Damage assessment is still underway and each affected principal is working out a contingency plan for their school.
"We will move some students to cooler areas of the building," said Dr. Gray. "We will provide bottled water, cold water for students and we will closely monitor their physical appearances as well."
There is some good news for incoming freshman. The JPS school Board approved a plan to provide 11 inch Macbook Airs for its 2,400 high school freshmen.
A federal grant will fund the laptops. Parents must pay a $40.00 insurance fee.
The computers will be distributed sometime during the beginning of the new school year.
Superintendent Gray also says the district no longer has a teacher shortage.
"We employ approximately 2,200 teachers in the district and we were looking for approximately 220 vacancies. And we're so extremely excited that we have gotten very close to filling all of our vacancies," added Gray.
The total cost of all repairs and replacements is estimated at $250,000. The district has set up a tip hotline to report any suspicious activities at school or other JPS sites. You may call 601-987-3767.
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