WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Williamson County School Board was busy Thursday night. They passed three separate resolutions relating to COVID-19 mitigation efforts, including expanding a universal mask mandate to all schools and grade levels.
Earlier this month, the board agreed masks would only be mandated in elementary schools. But now they are required for all K-12 until September 21 at 11:59 p.m.
However, Governor Bill Lee’s executive order allowing students to opt out of any face covering requirements is still in place. Parents just need to provide a written statement or documentation to school officials.
The board also passed a resolution Thursday night asking Governor Lee for permission to switch to remote learning when necessary. Superintendent Jason Golden noted that the district has seen a “staffing issue” during the first few weeks of school.
Last week, Williamson County closed Fairview Middle School after 30% of the staff and 33% of students were out with COVID-related absences. Superintendent Golden argues that online learning would be better than no learning if outbreaks continue at schools.
“My request is, ask the Governor to give you all and us the authority to shift to remote if we have to as opposed to send students home without instruction,” Golden said.
The board also passed a resolution that provides teachers and staff members with ten additional days of paid time off if they test positive for COVID-19.