MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — As COVID-19 cases rise, teachers’ concerns continue to grow.
“They are concerned for the safety of their students. They are concerned for the safety of themselves and their families,” said Constance Brown, President of the Clarksville Montgomery County Education Association.
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Association sent a seven-paragraph letter to the county school system asking for a week of remote learning before and after Christmas break to allow for a district-wide quarantine after students and staff visit family members.
“We are around so many adults and students, even though in this county we had about 15,000 students that went virtual, we’re still around a whole lot of students every single day,” said Brown.
According to Clarksville-Montgomery School District leaders, there are 359 students currently in quarantine, and 27 school-level employees. Those numbers do not include confirmed positive cases. Still, district leaders also say about 70 percent of parents have already signed their kids up for in-person learning for the spring semester.
Brown, on the other hand, said she is representing certified teachers who want to mitigate COVID-19 exposure around the holidays.
“We don’t want anyone to misconstrue that we are trying to get out of work,” Brown said. “We don’t want to stop working. We feel like it would be safer and healthier for us to do this remote before and after.”
In a statement to News 2, Clarksville-Montgomery School officials wrote in part:
“Currently, there is no intention for CMCSS to transition to district-wide remote learning (other than the pre-planned remote learning day on Dec. 21). While we strive to be proactive and communicate changes to staff and families as quickly as possible, the circumstances of the pandemic are unpredictable and ever-changing. Daily, the CMCSS Communicable Disease Team and the Montgomery County Health Department (MCHD) review the local spread of COVID-19 to make school-based and district-wide decisions related to the Continuum of Learning options. In addition to community COVID-19 data, the team reviews data on positive cases in schools, student and school-based employee quarantines, employee and student absentee rates, substitute fill rates, and other factors.”— Anthony D. Johnson, Ed.S., Chief Communications Officer
Brown emphasized that the two organizations have a great working relationship and plan to meet with district leaders next week.
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.