Parents split over MNPS decision to switch back to virtual learning

Keeping Schools Safe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Courtney Kibler has two elementary-aged children in Metro Nashville Public Schools. In October they went back to their classrooms after spending the first part of the school year learning from home.

“They just don’t get the hands-on that they do in the classroom,” Kibler said.

But after fall break, it’s back to online learning through at least December 17.

“They’re not happy. They like going to school. They like being around the other kids even with the masks and the things they have to do. They’ve been much happier being there even with a mask,” Kibler said.

MNPS announced the decision to move back to virtual learning for all students after Thanksgiving break in a Monday night press release.

Director of Schools, Dr. Adrienne Battle, attributed this decision to the increase in the spread of COVID-19 in the Nashville community.

Students with exceptional needs and elementary school students who have been attending school in person should go to school on Tuesday, November 24. They will return to virtual learning from Monday, November 30, until the holiday break begins on December 17.

“Our transmission rate, new cases per 100,000 residents, and 7-day positivity rate are at their highest points in months, and the situation may only be getting worse,” Dr. Battle said. “This is a serious and dramatic public health emergency that requires us all to renew our vigilance and take the safety precautions necessary to keep ourselves, our families, our friends, and those we may encounter safe through the wearing of masks, social distancing, and avoidance of large – especially indoor – gatherings whenever possible.” 

While the Kibler family isn’t pleased with the MNPS decision, other families are.

Miriam Brooks teaches first and second grade at Alex Green Elementary and has three kids of her own in the Metro school system.

“We’re facing those challenges just like other working families. Balancing work schedules and school schedules and homework and technology. I’m balancing that as a mom and a teacher,” Brooks said.

Brooks has been teaching virtually since the first day of school and her kids have been learning from home. She says in the middle of the pandemic, she thinks it’s the safest option.

“Although virtual learning can have its challenges, and although this can put families in a new challenging situation, it is for everyone’s health and benefit,” Brooks said.

The release also stated MNPS plans to ask families about their preferences for learning styles amid the pandemic for the second semester. That begins on January 7.

Parents who want to change the decision they made prior to September will need to complete the survey. This will be available here from November 30 to December 4. Parents who don’t want to change their decision do not need to do anything.

Once the time to complete the survey is done, all decisions for the remainder of the year will be final.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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