Heading “Back to School” During a Global Pandemic


When students head back to school in the fall, it will look and feel very different from when they left.

Across the nation and state school districts are preparing for several scenarios, ranging from a full return to school, a hybrid model of in-building and distance learning, to full digital learning. These models and plans could include options like a staggered start, a phased re-opening or rotating student schedules. Some are even considering lengthening the school day and year to make up for lost learning time.

Examples (really reemphasizing what is above!)—

·         https://news.mnps.org/nashvilles-plan-for-reopening-schools/

·         https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2020/may/21/school-leaders-considering-phase-approach/523588/

·         https://www.wkrn.com/news/dickson-county-schools-details-possible-options-for-students-to-return-in-the-fall/

·         https://www.citizentribune.com/news/local/hamblen-schools-consider-contingencies-for-next-year/article_668116dc-a0fc-11ea-bfbb-734041cd27f5.html

Other points:

·         The Tennessee Department of Education has released more than 20 Reopening Guidance toolkits to help educators and school districts across the state prepare for the upcoming school year.

·         This is an important time for schools and districts to hear from parents. As our districts prepare for the fall, many are conducting parent surveys to gather family input.

   Example: https://www.wjhl.com/news/local/local-school-district-seeks-parent-student-input-on-reopening-schools-this-fall/

·         Plans will vary by location and situation, so keep in touch with your local district.

   Contact information for each district: https://k-12.education.tn.gov/sde/CreateDistrictList.asp?status=A&activeonly=Y

Resources for families to keep your student learning this summer:

·         PBS Summer Learning Series: schedule and companion activities https://www.tn.gov/education/pbsteaching.html

·         PBS Teaching Tennessee lessons available online https://www.youtube.com/user/TNDeptofEducation/playlists

·         STE(A)M Summer Resource Hub with new activities focused on career exploration https://www.tsin.org/summer-2020-steam-resource-hub

·         School Meal Finder continues through summer: https://schoolmealfinder.hoonuit.com/

School Immunizations and Vaccinations

The Tennessee Department of Health reports seeing a drop in children’s immunizations since the pandemic began, likely out of fear or concern of exposure to an individual with COVID 19. Please remember, it’s extremely important to protect all children through immunizations. TDH wants to assure families that immunizations and vaccines can be provided in a safe manner consistent with COVID 19 prevention guidelines.