MNPS makes masks optional for upcoming school year

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Masks will now be optional for Metro Nashville Public School students for the upcoming school year.

On Tuesday night, Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle presented her COVID-19 guidelines for the upcoming school year to board members.

“All the counties around us have gone to mask optional. The rates are low,” MNPS Parent Amy Pate said.

Pate feels comfortable with having her children attend school without a mask, but she said it’s ultimately up to each parent.

“I think that it’s really good to give some agency back to the parents to make the best decisions for their kids because we know what that is,” Pate said.

Dr. Battle’s plan outlined social distancing requirements cut to three feet instead of six. And rapid testing will be available as needed by school nurses.

But some parents were disappointed that visitors into the schools would be limited to educational purposes for the time being.

“I want to go inside my son’s kindergarten classroom this year. I want to eat lunch with him. I want to see his cubby. I haven’t been able to do this,” MNPS Parent Asha Carr said.

While masks are will be optional, the district is encouraging students and staff to wear them within the schools, especially for those that are unvaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccinations will be available by appointment at Metro Health Department clinics for those over 12.

On Monday, Wilson County Public Schools approved masks to become optional as well.

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