Tennessee Division of Schooling to permit digital studying waiver for faculties
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) – The Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn announced Friday that she will consider allowing classrooms or schools to make the temporary transition to virtual learning if necessary. Schwinn informed the school management in a letter of announcement.
Commissioner Schwinn said in the letter that exemptions were required for the transition.
“I’m going to waive the provisions of Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. Chapters 0520-01-03 and 0520-01-13 related to distance learning where necessary to enable students affected by COVID-19 isolation or quarantine at the class or school level to take part in distance learning. I will use this Tennessee Code Annotated Section 49-1-201 exemption in cases where counties can demonstrate and document COVID-related needs in their school communities that require a temporary shift to distance learning for classrooms or entire schools. This waiver process is not required for individual quarantined students to receive distance learning. “
Schwinn also said she would rather see students in classrooms and expects the waivers to be used only occasionally.
“I firmly believe that face-to-face teaching is best for children, and there are tried and tested strategies in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19. While I would like to offer reasonable flexibility to the administrators who make every possible effort to ensure the continuation of in-person academic teaching, I do expect waivers to be applied closely to preserve in-person learning wherever possible, “said Schwinn in the letter to the directors.
Governor Bill Lee spoke at a news conference Thursday on child safety and health at school. Together with health authorities, he is now calling on children to wear masks in school.
“It is not my job to tell parents what to do, but I would say if you want to protect your child from the virus or from quarantine, it is best to have your child in school with a mask on” said Lee.
The Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, spoke about the state of COVID-19 in Tennessee and pediatric COVID cases.
Piercey said the best way to protect children is to have schools and parents mask their students.
Here at Knox County Schools, more than 8,600 were absent on Thursday, August 28th. Now the Knox County School Board convened a special session on Friday to address the rising COVID-19 cases in the school system.
The board is expected to discuss the mandatory isolation leave for employees who test positive for COVID-19 through changes to the school system’s COVID-19 tracker and the number of absences allowed during the school year.
The meeting will also discuss a universal mask requirement for all students, staff and visitors indoors and on school buses. They will also discuss a mandate for pre-K through fifth grade students only. That was the agenda of the meeting.
The call for a special session comes as active COVID-19 cases in the school district top 800 with 807 active cases, according to the dashboard.
The discussion session will take place on Wednesday September 1st at 5 p.m., but the vote will take place at the next meeting, scheduled for September 8th.
You can read the full letter here:
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