Williamson County schools start year as positive COVID-19 case closes one campus

Coronavirus

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Williamson County School district is starting the year with one of its campuses closed when it was scheduled to have students learning in-person.

According to superintendent Jason Golden, someone at Chapman’s Retreat Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19. The Williamson County Health Department directed the entire front office staff to be quarantined.

Third through 12th grade students started the year learning from home Friday, while the rest of the district learned in-person.

Golden said they already had a structure in place to move on-campus students to remote learning, and that will be the case for the next two weeks at Chapman’s Retreat.

“Starting on campus was just a practical impossibility,” Golden said. “The principal, assistant principal on down the line – the front office staff. Generally speaking we don’t anticipate that that’s going to happen. If a teacher needs to be quarantined, we do have substitute teachers.”

Golden said early childhood through second grade students are learning in-person and spread out through the school building. It’s part of the district’s Medium Community Spread protocol, which is the stage where there is half to one percent of the county’s population with active COVID-19 cases.

“The structure and the purpose of that was to try to honor the health department’s recommendations for social distancing,” said Golden. “When every student’s in a building, social distancing is a practical impossibility in just about every classroom.”

Chapman Retreat Elementary will be closed for the health department’s recommended quarantine period of 14 days.

“That is the biggest concern that we have over the course of the school year – what do we do with quarantine?” said Golden. “When the health department goes through their process with contact tracing, the quarantined individuals generally are going to be a larger group than the individuals who actually have tested positive. And, based on the health department protocols, they’re going to have to quarantine for 14 days as opposed to someone who has a positive case, if they recover quickly it may be just a few days less than that.”

Read more about Williamson County’s school reopening plan HERE.

News 2 digs deeper into how schools are moving forward safely for the new academic year. See how other districts around Middle Tennessee are handling everything from classroom concerns to the future of sports in our special series. Click here to see more.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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