DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thousands of students are in quarantine across Tennessee, plus hundreds of teachers and staff members.
Stewart County Schools is the latest district to shut down because of a growing number of COVID cases, and being short-staffed. The district will be closed for a week starting Wednesday.
Wilson County is closed this week because of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases and quarantines. And, Rutherford County has one school and a handful of grade levels shut down while they consider changes to their protocols.
Metro Schools has 153 staff members quarantined but has not closed any schools down. Dickson County schools have also seen a rise in cases but continue to stay open.
“Every day brings the unknown,” said Jessica Alberson, District Behavior Coordinator for Dickson County Schools.
Alberson is currently quarantined with COVID-19 herself.
“It has been hard at times because I do want to be there,” Alberson said. “I want to be there making sure that our students are successful, and to be able to support their teachers and admin.”
Dickson County has made some adjustments to its daily operations.
“We are highly suggesting masks. We’re not mandating them, but we are suggesting that,” said Alberson. “And, then the vaccine to protect everyone involved if that’s something your family is called to.”
Alberson says Dickson teachers and administrators are relying heavily on technology, in place of small group activities.
“So, instead of getting in a group of five or ten, you may have a Google document where you are still collaborating in live time together,” said Alberson.
The Tennessee Department of Education offers a waiver application process that allows them to request a temporary move to remote learning for up to five days. Those waivers must be requested by the specific district and then approved by TDOE.