RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two schools in Rutherford County will reopen Monday after the district made changes to its quarantine policy.
Some parents were frustrated after 53 students and eight teachers at Smyrna Elementary School had to be quarantined, but the school is welcoming everyone back sooner than expected.
All elementary students were supposed to learn remotely through Sept. 1, but after working with the state department of health, changes have been made to contact tracing procedures.
Only those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must be quarantined, not a suspected case. As of Thursday, 250 students have been quarantined because of symptoms and more than 1,200 for being in contact with the potential of having the virus.
District leaders said they are learning as they go.
“This is a new thing we’re doing this year with distance learning and it’s on a large scale and there is going to be some learning along the way. Not only for the students, but for the teachers but I am so pleased with what I’m seeing,” explained Director of Schools, Bill Spurlock.
Teachers and staff have worked hard to ensure schools are safe for students.
“Now to be honest, it hasn’t been perfect however every time there was a mistake we learned from it and we improved. I would also like to thank our teachers and our principals and our staff for all of the long hours they have put in,” said Spurlock.
If a student has to be quarantined, classmates will move to another area until their classroom is sanitized. Christiana Middle School is also reopening Monday.
The district said more than 20,000 Rutherford County students are participating in distance learning, which is equal to the ninth largest district in the state.
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.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )