Metro Schools survey shows 54% of parents plan to send students back to the classroom

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NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — Metro Nashville Public Schools is revealing survey results indicating how many parents plan on sending their students back to the classroom.

This school year started out 100% online for Metro Schools students. The district began phasing special education students back into classrooms earlier this month and Nashville’s youngest students are next in line to begin phasing back in after fall break.

The MNPS Board of Education closed their online survey Friday, where families could decide between in-person and online learning. The district reports that 54% want to return to the classroom and 46% want to continue virtual learning.

On Tuesday night, Dr. Mason Bellamy, Chief of Academics and Schools for MNPS, said the district is still working to contact families who didn’t fill out the survey. He said roughly 27% of families have yet to complete the survey.

“If we’re not able to do that, these students will be assumed to be returning in-person as we mentioned when we rolled the survey out and during that communication,” Bellamy said.

Meanwhile, the Metro Nashville Education Association conducted its own survey of 1,800 Metro teachers. Only 18% said they felt comfortable returning to in-person classes, 49% said they were not comfortable, and 32% responded “maybe.”

MNEA also reports that 97% of all respondents said they want additional protections, like adequate PPE, paid extended sick leave, and small class sizes before returning.

Metro school officials noted at Tuesday’s board meeting that there will be COVID-19 safety precautions in place, like markings to show the flow of traffic, a mask requirement, and appropriate social distancing.

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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