Third grade teacher Jennifer McMichael watches as students file down the hallways at C.C. Pinckney Elementary School Jan. 25. Fort Jackson schools resumed in-person teaching for the first time since March 2020. (By Josephine Carlson)

By Robert Timmons, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Drivers are cautioned to prepare for slower traffic and children crossing the streets as Fort Jackson students return to class Aug. 16.

The Department of Defense Educational Activity has two schools on post: C.C. Pinckney and Pierce Terrace elementary schools.

“Both school's instructional day is from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. and will have an early release day the second Tuesday of each month,” said Raymond Burk, principal of Pierce Terrace. Students will be released at 2 p.m. on the early release days.

Burk added both schools will continue to provide breakfast and lunch to students free of charge. Breakfast at Pinckney is scheduled from 7:30-7:55 a.m. while Pierce Terrace's breakfast is from 7:20-7:45 a.m. Students at both schools not eating breakfast are to arrive at 7:45 a.m.

Families are advised to continue to use the car rider process to bring their child to school or follow post protocols for walking to school. “Due to current COVID protocols, parents will not be permitted to walk their children into the school,” Burk said.

DODEA schools are taken precautions to ensure students are safe from COVID-19 as well.

“Our schools adhere to the most recent version of DODEA's COVID 19 Operational Guidelines and Protocols for Schools, dated July 28, 2021,” Burk added. “All students, faculty, and visitors are required to wear masks inside the building. Also, all students are asked to bring a water bottle to school because water fountains are only to be used as filling stations. Students should have extra masks in their book bag in the event their mask is broken or lost during the school day.”

“Our new mask policy brings us into alignment with the best science and guidance out there,” said Brian Perry, South Carolina and Fort Stewart Community Superintendent for Department of Defense Education Activity Americas Southeast District. “Like many of you, we are tracking new information online from the medical community, particularly the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The schools’ Sneak A Peek will be held virtually tomorrow from 2-3 p.m. The Sept. 9 open house will also be held virtually.

School calendars are available on each school's website.

“We encourage all our Dragons and Patriots to be safe, respectful, and responsible,” Burk said. “We recommend all students practice a sleep schedule so each student is rested and ready to learn Monday morning.”