Coffee County Schools, Manchester City Schools and Tullahoma City School systems have all released a joint statement and plan to return to school in the upcoming fall semester – plans that include different tiers based on percentage of county population with COVID-19.
The “pathway to re-entry” plan calls for typical classroom schedule with the Coffee County active case count less than 0.5 percent of the county total population, which is 56,520. This means there would need to be over 282 active cases of the virus to alter school schedules. As of Wednesday, there were 34 active cases of COVID-19 – well below the 282 cutoff for 0.5%.
If there is moderate spread, defined as active cases between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of total population(between 283 and 565 active cases), there will be a hybrid model in which case there will be modified scheduling with a combination of onsite and distance learning for students. There will be district specific distance learning programs.
If there is substantial spread, with an active case rate greater than 1 percent of the county population (greater than 565 active cases in Coffee County), there will be no students in school buildings and district specific distance learning program in place.
Each school system will reach out to their students with more specifics.
In the case of minimal spread (less than 0.5%) and there is a typical classroom schedule, there will continue to be safety and health considerations – such as clean and thorough disinfecting of surfaces, teachers will review and reinforce handwashing, temperature checks will be done daily upon arrival, social distancing will be practiced when feasible, strategic movement of students will take place and masks will be recommended for faculty, staff and students.
If cases reach a moderate spread (0.5-1.0 percent), deep cleaning and disinfecting spaces and surfaces will continue, student movement will be limited, there will be fewer after school activities and masks will be highly recommended for all times.
Manchester City Schools director Dr. Joey Vaughn said that MCS will follow the approved school calendar for 2020. The first student attendance day is August 3, 2020 with an abbreviated schedule from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. The first full student day will be August 5, 2020. All three school systems are following their previously approved calendars.
For Manchester City Schools, families will have an opportunity to choose between in-person classes and an online learning option. More information, including a family survey for in-person or online learning, will be available from Manchester City Schools on July 14 after the Manchester City Schools BOE meeting on July 13.
Coffee County Schools say families will have an opportunity to choose between in-person classes and an online learning option. More information, including a family survey for in-person or online learning, will be available soon.
Tullahoma City Schools are offering students the option of choosing in-person or distance learning for the first quarter of the school year.
While this is the plan set forth by the school systems, it is subject to change if different guidance is provided at the state level.