Nashville, TN – Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle announced Monday that Metro schools will close to in-person instruction after Thanksgiving. Students will attend classes on line until the end of the semester on December 17.
The following is her announcement in full:
Dear MNPS families and staff:
Metro Schools will be returning to all-virtual learning following the Thanksgiving break on November 30 through the end of the semester on December 17.
As I wrote to you last week, we continued to steadily monitor the COVID-19 situation and said that we would be returning to virtual learning if the situation did not improve – and it has only gotten worse since that time.
Our transmission rate, new cases per 100,000 residents, and 7-day positivity rate are at their highest points in months, and the situation may only be getting worse. This is a serious and dramatic public health emergency that requires us all to renew our vigilance and take the safety precautions necessary to keep ourselves, our families, our friends, and those we may encounter safe through the wearing of masks, social distancing, and avoidance of large – especially indoor – gatherings whenever possible.
I fully understand that this news can create complications and challenges in the lives of many of our families who, in addition to education, rely on MNPS to care for their children while they work. We will continue to facilitate opportunities for supporting our families as much as we can during this time, and we hope many employers will do the responsible thing and follow public health guidance and return to remote working whenever possible. For those who don’t, we have worked with YMCA and other approved before- and after-care providers to offer small emergency childcare opportunities.
While schools are operating remotely, Metro Schools students ages 5 to 12 and the children of Metro Schools employees can enroll in no-cost-with-verification YMCA Emergency Childcare that will provide our students with supervision and support for virtual learning November 30-December 30 (excluding Dec. 24-25). Parents who utilized this option previously will not have to go through the verification process again but will have to register their students for the time slots available. The Metro Schools locations are:
- Buena Vista Enhanced Option: 1531 9th Ave. N, Nashville, TN 37208
- Gra-Mar Middle School: 575 Joyce Lane, Nashville, TN 37216
- Glencliff Elementary: 120 Antioch Pike, Nashville, TN 37211
- Gower Elementary: 650 Old Hickory Blvd., Nashville, TN 37209
- Tusculum Elementary: 440 McMurray Drive, Nashville, TN 37211
- Andrew Jackson Elementary: 110 Shute Lane, Old Hickory, TN 37138
- Stanford Montessori: 2417 Maplecrest Drive, Nashville, TN 37214
- Carter-Lawrence Elementary: 1118 12th Ave. S, Nashville, TN 37203
For more information or to register: Visit YMCA of Middle TN
Decision for Second Semester
In September we asked families to fill out a survey about whether you wanted your students to learn in person or virtually as conditions allow. We told you that decision was for the remainder of the school year but that there would be an opportunity to change it before the start of the second semester in January.
From November 30 to December 4, we will have a survey open that will give you the opportunity to change your preference for the upcoming semester. If you don’t want to change, then there is nothing you need to do.
Once this survey window closes, all decisions for the remainder of the school year will be final so that school administrators can develop their schedules and align staff and students based on the in-person and virtual options. We understand that you may wish to know more about the future before making decisions, but to provide stability to staff and students, we must ask that you make any changes during the prescribed timeframe.
To be clear, conditions in the city and in schools will inform the timeline for bringing students back to in-person learning, and schools may be required to remain closed or to close again based on the spread of COVID-19.
Some important considerations for your decision:
- This survey only applies to the second semester, starting in January 2021.
- Students who attend school in person will be required to wear masks at all times except when actively eating or drinking or socially distanced outdoors, unless they have a documented and approved medical accommodation.
- Families must keep their students home if they are sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus in schools.
- Our school nurse program will assist the Metro Public Health Department with monitoring.
- If a student or teacher tests positive for the coronavirus, students who are within six feet of that person for 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period will be required to quarantine for 14 days to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
- As we are able to return students to the classroom, we will likely follow a phase-in schedule that prioritizes first our exceptional education students and elementary students and transitions middle and high school grades 5 and 9 (the youngest students in each of those tiers) back into the classroom. We will release further details as we get closer to the second semester.
The form to update your decision will be listed starting on November 30 at mnps.org/decision-survey, and we will send out updates and reminders as we approach that date to ensure you have the opportunity to submit an updated decision if necessary.
We will continue to provide regular updates on our plans for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, as well as the COVID-19 situation both in our community and within our schools, to give as full and transparent a picture to families and staff as possible. Thank you for your cooperation and collaboration during this uniquely challenging school year.
Editorial note: The Tribune first reported that schools would likely close due to the pandemic. Teachers reported overwhelmingly that they didn’t think it was safe and they were right. It isn’t. Infections, hospitalizations, and deaths are up in Tennessee as they are in most states. Even though kids don’t get as sick as adults they can still pass the virus to others and if they carry the virus back home, regardless of where they got it, their parents and siblings can become infected.
Staying at home until vaccines are available is a smart public health decision.