Bledsoe County Schools will open their doors to students on August 25 for the first time since March 13, after schools across the state and nation were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first day of school was set for August 4, but was pushed to August 25 in order to give the system extra time to prepare for welcoming students amidst a global pandemic, and to observe neighboring districts as they went back in early August.
Since August 1, Bledsoe County has had 13 new COVID-19 cases in the age range of 5-18, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. (See separate article.)
August 25 and 26 will welcome students with the last names beginning with A-L, while students with the last name M-Z will report to school on August 27 and 28. All students will return on August 31.
If students live in the same household but have different last names, all of the students in that household will report based on the last name of the oldest child.
Pre-K and Kindergarten phase-in begins August 31, and students’ individual teachers will contact parents with dates their child needs to attend.
Registration day for students new to the district is from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on August 24.
There are three levels of school operations, per the plan, dependent on the number of active cases in the county, excluding cases in inmates at Bledsoe County Correctional Complex.
Plan I, minimal spread, is less than 0.5 percent of the population, or 0-65 active cases in the county. Schools would operate on a traditional classroom schedule with safety protocols in place, and certain classrooms, halls, or grade levels could be closed based on infections in any particular area.
Plan II, moderate spread, is between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of the population, or 66-130 active cases in the county. In this instance, schools would be on a remote/hybrid learning model. This model calls for a modified schedule with a combination of on-site and distance learning. Schools will be deep cleaned, student movement and school activities will be limited, and masks will be highly recommended for all students at all times.
Plan III, substantial spread, is more than 1.0 percent of the population in the county with active cases, or over 131 people. This plan calls for a complete remote learning plan and school closures. No students would be in school buildings and no large gatherings would be permitted. Masks would be required for all personnel in close-contact spaces.
For more see the August 20 issue of The Bledsonian Banner.
The Bledsoe County Board of Education approved a plan to reopen schools beginning on August 25 during its meeting on Monday, August 10. In the meeting some, but not all details, of the reopening plan were discussed.
The details discussed publicly at Monday’s meeting are in this week’s issue of The Bledsonian-Banner, and will be covered in full in the August 20 issue of The Bledsonian-Banner. The full plan was released on Wednesday, August 12, on the Bledsoe County Schools website. It can be found by clicking here.
REOPENING PLAN LINKS, DISTRICT AND SCHOOL-SPECIFIC:
DISTRICT WIDE PLAN: CLICK HERE.
BLEDSOE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL, CLICK HERE.
BLEDSOE COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL, CLICK HERE.
MARY V. WHEELER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, CLICK HERE.
CECIL B. RIGSBY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, CLICK HERE.
PIKEVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, CLICK HERE.
VIRTUAL LEARNING PROGRAM APPLICATION PERIOD EXTENDED, INFO FROM BCS REOPENING PLAN BELOW. CLICK HERE for more on VIRTUAL LEARNING.
“After completely reading the guidelines, parents who chose virtual learning must apply by August 19, 2020. Due to the recent increase in numbers, the district will reopen the application for Virtual School. Once a student is enrolled, they will remain virtual for the semester. However, a student may return to the traditional setting by contacting the building principal by September 8th before 3:00 p.m. During the December School Board Meeting, it will be determined if the Virtual School Program will continue for the second semester. If continued, parents can choose in person classes for the 2nd semester, but will need to contact their school administration before December 18th, 2020 with their intent.”