Back-to-school guidelines

We are very grateful for the tremendous efforts of our students, families, and employees during the 2020-2021 school year. Despite the enormous challenges of COVID-19, our schools and communities worked together to ensure that our educational mission continued safely.

We are working hard to prepare for the 2021-2022 school year. At this time, our expectation is that many of the COVID-19 restrictions implemented a year ago will not be in place for this school year. Specifically, this means that:

• Masks will not be required for students, teachers or employees. These will be allowed at each individual’s discretion.

• All schools will resume in-person learning. There will not be a virtual option in the elementary and middle schools. There is a virtual option for high school students. Please contact your child’s high school for additional information.

• Schools will continue to promote proper hand washing and hygiene such as coughing into elbows and not sharing personal items. We will continue to disinfect high touch surfaces and objects within buildings at least daily.

• When possible, students will be physically distanced by 3 feet.

• We will not conduct contact tracing or daily temperature checks. Students and staff who test positive will be required to stay home for the prescribed days specified by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH). Public officials will contact families and provide the return date for each person. Students and staff living in a household with family members testing positive will also be required to stay home for the prescribed days specified by the TDOH.

• Visitors will be allowed in schools for meetings and assemblies. We ask that all meetings are prescheduled with the school to avoid mass crowds.

• Extracurricular activities and field trips will be allowed.

• There will be no restrictions on the number of spectators allowed in sporting events, unless the TSSAA issues a mandate. All tickets for sporting events will continue to be purchased through GoFan only.

• Students will return to eating in the cafeterias as done in the past. When families would like to bring in food for rewards or celebrations of their students, all items must still be pre-packaged and not homemade food. All students will automatically receive free breakfast and lunch this school year. However, it is very important that families continue to complete the free/reduced lunch application to be eligible for other state benefits.

• Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles as water fountains will remain closed for the school year. Touchless water bottle filling stations are available for students at all locations.

• We ask that students and staff to stay home when they are sick. Please self-monitor for any of the following symptoms as a new onset in the last 72 hours. (This does not include chronic conditions):

a. Fever of 100 degrees or greater

b. New onset of a cough, congestion, or runny nose
c. New onset of shortness of breath
d. New onset of sore throat
e. New onset of body aches, chills, or fatigue
f. New onset of headache
g. New onset of loss of taste or smell
h. Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting

As always, we will continue to consult with the Cheatham County Health Department and to review guidance from the Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If circumstances related to COVID-19 change, we will respond promptly in coordination with these agencies.

Dr. Cathy Beck

Director of Schools