NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Digital learning answers the dilemma regarding the start of the Fall semester in Davidson County. The decision, announced by Metro Nashville Public School’s Director Dr. Adrienne Battle, was based on the increase of COVID-19 cases in the area.
“This will allow social distancing, masks mandates, and other measures to take effect and reduce the spread of COVID-19 before tens of thousands of students and staff return to our schools which could potentially spread the disease among our people and in the community if we’re not careful,” said Dr. Battle.
On August 4, the first day of school, more than 86,000 MNPS students will log-in remotely for class.
Dr. Battle explained six-and-a-half hours of daily learning will be offered, the amount of real-time interaction will depend on the student’s age.
“There will be a healthy mix of classroom experiences where students will interact with their teacher and peers in real-time and a lot of asynchronous learning where students will be able to work at their own pace to complete the assignments required of them,” said Battle.
High schoolers will take four classes per semester, to help better manage the virtual load, amounting to the same credits as the traditional school year. Unlike in the Spring, Fall grades will be assigned and attendance is required.
As far as resources, Battle explained, “Based on our assessments on the need of devices throughout our district, surveys, and check-ins, and the supply of our devices in our schools that can be loaned out, we can meet the need of all the students without current access to devices and close the technology gap.”
The district will arrange delivery for those unable to pick up the device and 17,000 hot spots will also be provided. Virtual instruction will last until Labor Day, but Dr. Battle says the district is ready to pivot at any time.
“If a different decision or option is available for families after Labor Day,” said Battle, “Our goal is to provide at least a two-week advance notice.”
Dr. Battle recognizes the difficult situation for working parents. She said they’re working to provide resources for families in need, though none have been mentioned.