NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 13, 2020) – Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle has extended the window for families to decide between in-person and virtual learning and released the proposed schedule for phasing students back into in-person learning for families who choose that option, as COVID-19 conditions allow. The phase-in schedule will give schools and the district the ability to adjust plans as necessary and safely acclimate both students and staff back into the in-person learning environment.
“After a great deal of consultation with Board members and other stakeholders, I believe this phase-in schedule can result in a safe and thoughtful return to school for students,” Dr. Battle said. “In order to make this happen, we need all community members to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks and social distancing whenever possible.”
The proposed schedule for students to return is:
- Tuesday, October 13, students in grades Pre-K through 2 will return for a half-day, with another half-day on October 14 and two full days on October 15 and 16.
- Tuesday, October 20, students in grades 3 and 4 will return to classes.
- Tuesday, October 27, students in grades 5 and 6 will return to classes.
- Wednesday, November 4, students in grades 7-8 will return to classes.
- Thursday, January 7*, high school students in grades 9-12 will return to classes.
*Starting the second semester on Thursday, January 7, will require Board of Education approval of the use of two stockpiled days.
To give teachers and staff a chance to prepare, there will be no synchronous/live teaching on the virtual instructional day before the phase-in date. Due to the higher risk of high school-aged students spreading COVID-19, as well as the scheduling of high schools, Dr. Battle and principals determined that a second-semester start is in the best interest of those students.
“We would love to have our high schoolers back in our classrooms as soon as possible, but waiting until the start of the second semester is not only the safest option but also the least disruptive to the learning progress of our students,” said Dr. Sue Kessler, principal of Hunters Lane High School. “My fellow principals and I appreciate the thoughtful and safety-driven approach to returning to schools presented by Dr. Battle.”
So that families can take this new information into consideration, the deadline for the family decision survey has been extended by three days to Friday, September 18. Families can visit the MNPS website for links and instructions on how to fill out the survey, as well as frequently asked questions about the phasing in of students for in-person learning: https://www.mnps.org/blog/2020/9/6/family-decision-survey. Parents who have already filled out the survey and want to make a change to their decision before the deadline Friday should contact the MNPS Family Information Center.
The survey asks families to make their decision about in-person or virtual learning for the remainder of the school year, but they will be given an opportunity in December to adjust their plans for the second semester if necessary.