Plans announced for second semester

The following letter was sent to our families on Friday, Nov. 20 about our plans for the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year.

Dear Families:

It feels like the 2020-21 school year just started, and yet it’s already time for the Cheatham County School District to start planning for the second semester.

Families of students in grades K-12 now have the opportunity to select in-person or virtual learning for the second half of the school year.

To ensure that your student is matched with the classes they need and our staffing needs are met, we must know who will attend in person and who will attend virtually.

For the second semester, our elementary and middle schools will operate on the traditional schedule (in-person learning) and our high schools will begin on the hybrid schedule (a combination of in-person and remote learning).

In order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we believe it would be beneficial that the high schools begin the second semester on the hybrid schedule as the majority of all of our cases have been in grades 9-12. We are hopeful that the high schools will be able to return to the traditional schedule if the number of COVID-19 cases remains low in Cheatham County.

Families will continue to have the all-virtual option.

Families need to make their choice for the second semester by Friday, Dec. 4. Please direct your questions to your student’s principal and notify your student’s school by this date IF you decide to make a change from your current status.

Other important updates for the second semester include:

• Students who start the second semester as a virtual learner will be required to stay a virtual learner for the remainder of the year (unless the student does not meet the terms of the district’s virtual learning contract). This means there will be no switching back and forth in the second semester between all-virtual and in-person learning (unless requested by the school administration or if a student is placed on quarantine due to COVID-19).

• If a student’s virtual learning contract was revoked in the first semester, then they are not eligible for virtual learning in the second semester.

• High school students in grades 9-11 who are failing two or more classes required for graduation must attend school in person Monday-Friday.

• High school seniors who are failing any class that is required for graduation must attend school in person Monday-Friday.

Additionally, please know that the health and safety of our students and staff continues to be a priority for the district.

We will continue to follow the guidance and expertise of state and local health officials in order to protect our students and staff. And we will continue to respond as quickly as possible so that we can minimize the spread and keep students in school for as long as possible. However, I want you to be prepared for changes as the situation will continue to be fluid.

Face masks will still be required for students and employees when they are not able to social distance and temperature checks will continue to be taken when everyone enters the building. The district will also encourage everyone to social distance as much as possible and promote frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing.

For COVID-19 updates, we encourage you to visit our website on a regular basis:

I deeply appreciate your support as we move forward to ensure our students get the education they deserve in the safest way possible.

Dr. Cathy Beck

Director of Schools