In an email to Williamson County Schools families Friday afternoon, Communications Director Carol Birdsong spelled out a long list of concerns, trends and changes having to do with the return of school after Thanksgiving break.
Key to remember is that students in Williamson County middle and high schools will continue with remote learning for another week while elementary students return to campus.
“Decisions to transition to remote learning are based on communication with the Williamson County Health Department, positive COVID-19 cases among students and/or staff, quarantine for students and/or staff, and student and staff attendance in a building, grade level or class,” Birdsong’s email reads.
In the last two weeks, WCS has transitioned 23 out of its 49 schools to remote, either an entire school or a class/grade level band, due to increased confirmed cases among students and staff or due to students and staff in quarantine because of exposure.Of the 23, 15 are middle (9 out of 11 or 82%) and high schools (6 of the 10 or 60%) and eight are elementary schools/grade levels (8 out of 23 or 35%) on remote.
Birdsong also pointed out in her email:
- WCS student/staff cases increased by 50 percent in the weeks following Halloween. Our concern is that we will see the same kind of trend the week after Thanksgiving.
- We are in daily communication with the Williamson County Health Department and in regular communication with other medical and emergency management agencies in our community. WCHD has reported substantial increases in positive cases in recent weeks.
- Our Middle Tennessee hospitals are at or near capacity with the expectation that cases will increase during and after the holiday.
- The Health Department is recommending that WCS transition to remote the week after Thanksgiving.
- Based on this guidance, students in Williamson County middle and high schools will continue with remote learning for the week of Nov. 30 through Dec. 4. Students who attend Independence and Renaissance high schools will participate in a hybrid pilot with more information shared by school principals. Our hope is to have our secondary students on campus for exam preparation and for semester exams for the last two weeks of this semester.
- Elementary students will return to campus on Monday, Nov. 30, with day-to-day decisions made regarding transition to remote based on positive cases, quarantine and student and staff attendance in a building, grade level or class.
- Teachers and/or administrators will be reaching out before Monday, Nov. 30 with instructions for the return to school after the Thanksgiving break. In addition, to increase the likelihood that we can continue extracurricular activities, we anticipate further restrictions will be put in place. More information will be shared by schools regarding extracurriculars.
- Residents may continue to monitor trends on the district’s website and the Williamson County Office of Public Safety website.