University School of Jackson

Our Daily Commitment to Health, Safety, and Families

Our Daily Commitment to Health, Safety, and Families

I am a huge proponent of consistency. If one wants to be successful academically, the key is not about rising to the occasion on the day of the ACT but about meaningful time in the books today. A happy marriage does not hinge on a romantic getaway, but on a regular evening strolls. Success under Friday night lights results from challenging afternoon practices and early morning lifts. As a lifelong educator, I believe that great teaching is not measured by the latest program but by the level of student engagement during the second period on a random Monday morning.


During these challenging times, I have had the pleasure of speaking and corresponding with many members of our community about the issues we face today and the importance of working together to meet our children's needs safely. Simply stated, our children need school. They need it for the academic growth it promises and vital relationships, experiences, social interaction, and challenges that accompany the classroom, stage, and fields of play. 


Our team has worked all summer to develop plans and procedures to ensure the health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff. Know that we are committed to following these plans and to the consistent focus their implementation will require. We cannot "lighten up" or look the other way. To make this work, our parents must also be "all in." Success in this endeavor will require support, communication, patience, and cooperation by everyone involved.


We understand that these short-term sacrifices will allow us to accomplish our long-term objectives. So today, I wear my mask, social distance, and scrub up! We are committed to

doing things differently. The classroom, performance, and game won't look the same as they did in March, but we can and will do this to meet the needs of children and advance our mission.


Speaking of March, we remember when so many schools "closed up shop," our teachers rolled up their sleeves, cracked open their laptops, and went to work. They did not shirk from the call in the spring, and they will answer the bell in the fall. They will do the difficult things today, and we will not retreat from making hard decisions. We will make mistakes, learn from them, and adjust accordingly. 


I cannot promise you 100% safety. Life is not 100% safe. We take risks by driving cars, flying in planes, and walking out our front door. What I can promise is that we will be committed to the consistent implementation of our plan and procedures. When things get difficult, we will not walk away from this responsibility, from our friends, family, churches, nor our school community. USJ has been here for our families for 50 years, we are here today, and when this current crisis is over, we will still be standing...together.


I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.


Don Roe

Head of School

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