NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System announced several updates on Friday regarding reopening CMCSS schools for the 2020-21 school year. The updates include pushing back the first half day of school from August 11 to August 31.
To read the more on the updates for CMCSS schools you can read their full release below.
Based on current guidance, CMCSS will reopen schools in the Traditional model (students physically present in schools) for the 2020-21 school year with health and safety modifications and precautions in place. However, all parents/guardians will have the option to enroll their child(ren) in CMCSS K-12 Virtual, a school of choice taught by CMCSS teachers and provided at no cost to families.
Next week via an electronic form, the district will ask parents/guardians to make their choice between Traditional or CMCSS K-12 Virtual for each of their children. Parents choosing the traditional option will also be asked to confirm if their child(ren) will be riding CMCSS bus transportation. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages alternative modes of transportation for students who have other options.
So that families can have the information they need to make an informed decision next week, the district is providing a more comprehensive 2020-21 CMCSS Reopening Plan.
At any point during the academic year, CMCSS may need to switch the entire district or individual schools in or out of traditional and remote models based on the circumstances of the pandemic. Families should make preparations throughout the year in the event that school buildings are closed and remote learning must take place for all students.
Note: Previous reopening plans included a hybrid model. After reviewing feedback from stakeholders and considering the district’s ability to effectively and efficiently implement the hybrid model with ever-changing circumstances, the CMCSS Communicable Disease Team decided to consolidate the Continuum of Learning to only the traditional and remote models. The major areas of concern with the hybrid model included childcare, coordinating schedules for blended families, operational efficiencies, and staffing, in addition to other concerns.
2020-2021 School Year Calendar Change
The CMCSS School Board has approved an Executive Order to modify the 2020-21 academic calendar. The first half day of school will move from August 11, 2020 to August 31, 2020. The District applied for and was granted a waiver by the Commissioner of Education to use the District’s thirteen stockpile days to delay the start of the school year for students. This decision:
- Allows our families time to prepare for traditional school or to enroll in CMCSS K-12 Virtual as they determine what is best for their families.
- Allows faculty and staff time for specific training and application on digital-blended learning, health and safety protocols, and trauma-informed classrooms before students are back in session.
- Employees who are currently not on calendar (Non-12-month employees) should plan to return as previously scheduled unless otherwise directed by their supervisor.
- Allows the CMCSS Operations Department time to determine bus routes based upon families selecting CMCSS bus transportation and to practice new health/safety protocols with school-based personnel at each school prior to students returning.
- Allows the District to staff traditional schools and CMCSS K-12 Virtual efficiently and appropriately, as well as change master schedules to reflect the staffing.
- Allows a delayed start of the school year for students, but maintains fall break, spring break and graduation dates that have already been established. However, there are necessary changes to some of the other dates. Click here for an overview of the revised 2020-21 academic calendar.
- Other federal, state, and local orders will be taken into consideration as they continue to be released.
If the current USDA waivers are extended, CMCSS will continue to provide free meals to children through August.
Please visit cmcss.net/reopening for more information and a link to provide feedback and ask questions regarding the reopening schools.
Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett and Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts both offered their support for the reopening plan.
“The reopening of schools is very challenging for schools across our nation,” Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett said. “After hearing the plan that Mr. House presented, I believe our school system leadership is doing all they can to meet the challenges of educating our children while working to keep people healthy in a complex time. It is important that we back the decision of our school leaders while doing the best that we can to support our students.”
“I fully support the ‘two-option’ plan announced by our schools director,” Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said. “I know a lot of thought and hard work went into this decision, and I think it is the best path to ensure the children of this community continue to learn and grow while ensuring their health and safety. Given all the uncertainty and challenges posed by the COVID-19 public health emergency, our school system is on the right track and deserves our support.”
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.