‘Pathway’ to Reopening Schools Announced, Models to be Based on County-wide Infection Rate


Today, the Cheatham County School District released their plans regarding the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

Scheduled to open on Monday, August 10, the district aims not only to protect health and safety of students and staff, but also to provide “five-star academic instruction to students.”

In order to do this, they have prepared various models for schooling: traditional, hybrid, and remote. Each of these three plans allows the district to be prepared despite the ever-changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19.

The Traditional Model will see children back in the classroom, with necessary modifications, if the infection rate is under 0.5% in Cheatham County. A “medium” spread rate of 0.5-1.0% will shift students into the Hybrid Model, and a spread rate > 1.0% will require a remote learning situation.

Traditional Schedule (Model 1)

In this model, school is open for all students to return if the county-wide infection rate remains under 0.5%.

Distance learning is an option for families who are not comfortable having their students return to a classroom setting.

For those who return, things will look a little differently.

What to Expect

- Signs promoting protective measures will be posted in highly visible areas, regular announcements and reminders will be made on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and messages will be regularly communicated to staff and families about related behaviors and practices.

- School staff will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

- School staff will reinforce proper hand washing techniques, and custodial teams will ensure the supply of soap and paper towels at each location.

  • Face coverings may be worn but are not required.

  • There will be no field trips, although virtual field trips will be encouraged.

  • Sporting events and competitions will happen as necessary and with prior approval.

  • There will be no non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving outside groups/organizations.

  • Open houses/large meetings will be held virtually.

  • Each student’s belongings will be kept separate. Sharing will be minimized.

  • Each school will have an isolation room/area to separate anyone suspected of being infected with COVID-19. All cases will be reported to the Director of Schools or designee.

  • Students will go directly to their assigned classrooms in the mornings, and all access to the building will be monitored.

  • Students will go to the cafeteria to pick up breakfast and return to classrooms to eat. Food will be disposed of in separate trash bins located in the hall.

  • The entire building will be utilized during lunchtime to achieve social distancing.

  • Dismissal times and bus schedules will be staggered; buses will be cleaned after each use. Masks will be recommended on buses due to lack of social distancing.

  • Staff Staff will provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that staff and children remain separated as much as possible.

  • Special population students will continue receiving services as determined by their IEP or ILP.

Elementary School- specific Information:

  • A group will be created at each location, including a supervisor, to look at classroom set up and make suggestions for minimal student exposure and organization of the classroom.

  • Desks will not be placed in groups but rather spaced out as much as possible.

  • Classes that use flexible seating, such as tables, will separate students as much as possible and clean and disinfect on a regular basis.

  • No sharing of supplies. Students' materials will be kept individually in cubbies or something similar.

  • In grades where they are departmentalized, teachers will sanitize classroom between groups of students. Hand washing or sanitizing breaks are taken often during the day.

  • Centers may be used, but in very small groups with a process for disinfecting after use.

  • Small group instruction with adequate spacing may take place with a process for disinfecting between groups.

Elementary Schools will use an online platform to send out instructional materials, gather feedback, and assess students that reduces the use of paper copies

Middle School-specific Information:

  • A group will be created at each location, including a supervisor, to look at classroom set up and make suggestions for minimal student exposure and organization of the classroom.

  • Desks will not be placed in groups but rather spaced out as much as possible.

  • Classes that use flexible seating, such as tables, will separate students as much as possible and clean and disinfect on a regular basis.

  • No sharing of supplies. Students' materials will be kept individually in cubbies or something similar.

  • Lockers: Color coded lockers will be used in an alternating manner as specified by the teacher.

  • Teachers will sanitize classroom between groups of students. Hand washing or sanitizing breaks are taken often during the day.

Middle schools will use an online platform to send out instructional materials, gather feedback, and assess students in both in class and virtual setting.

The middle schools will be using a program called Schoology; each student will have an account and access. All coursework will be delivered using this program. Students will be introduced to Schoology at the start of the school year.

Related Arts will continue but with extra precautions.

High School-specific Information:

  • A group will be created at each location, including a supervisor, to look at classroom set up and make suggestions for minimal student exposure and organization of the classroom.

  • Desks will not be placed in groups but rather spaced out as much as possible.

  • Classes that use flexible seating, such as tables, will separate students as much as possible and clean and disinfect on a regular basis.

  • No sharing of supplies.

  • Lockers will be monitored between class changes.

  • Teachers will sanitize classroom between groups of students. Hand washing or sanitizing breaks are taken often during the day.

  • To decrease the amount of class changes per day, instruction will be delivered with an A/B style schedule. Courses will still be yearlong classes with periods 1, 3, 5, 7 on “A” day and periods 2, 4, 5, 6 on “B” day. Students will meet 5th period because of lunch schedule daily.

High schools will use an online platform to send out instructional materials, gather feedback, and assess students in both in class and virtual setting.

High school students/staff will also be utilizing Schoology.

Hybrid School (Model 2)

The purpose of the Hybrid Model is to reduce, by half, the number of students in the buildings at one time.

In this model, one half the students will physically attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays. The other half of the students will attend on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be used for deep cleaning and scheduled student appointments for instruction on an as-needed basis, the district says.

On days students are not in the buildings, they will participate remotely.

Virtual Learning (Model 3)

In the event the the district has to move to an entirely remote model, the use of Schoology, Microsoft Team, and other online platforms will be utilized to guide learning.

Teachers, who will will still have access to their classroom with limited contact with peers, will be expected to provide a clear agenda of instructions and expectations, and content will be assigned daily to meet Tennessee standards.

Hot spots will be set up around the county to to provide students with access to Wi-Fi.

Attendance will be taken daily for all students.

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