MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TN (WSMV) - Students will be physically heading back to the classrooms in Clarksville and Montgomery County this August.
The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System released its plan for the reopening schools on Friday. At this time, students will participate in the "traditional model" and will be in the building on August 31.
However, the school system told parents that they can enroll their kindergarten to 12th grade students in virtual learning, which will be Clarksville-Montgomery County School System teachers. There will be no cost to any parents, who choose to take this option.
All parents in the county will receive a form next week and will have to decide if their student will enroll in virtual learning.
The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System also told parents that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all students may have to learn remotely and parents should be prepared for that to happen.
"CMCSS thanks our stakeholders for their patience and understanding as district leaders continue to navigate constantly changing and developing guidance on how to reopen schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. CMCSS faculty, staff, and administrators will be prepared to support students academically, socially, and emotionally as our community continues to persevere through the challenges of this unprecedented situation."
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Board of Education signed an executive order "to modify the 2020-21 academic calendar," effectively moving the start date from August 11 to August 31.
The decision allows the following:
- Allows our families time to prepare for traditional school or to enroll in CMCSS K-12 Virtual as they determine what is best for their families.
- Allows faculty and staff time for specific training and application on digital-blended learning, health and safety protocols, and trauma-informed classrooms before students are back in session.
- o Employees who are currently not on calendar (Non-12-month employees) should plan to return as previously scheduled unless otherwise directed by their supervisor.
- Allows the CMCSS Operations Department time to determine bus routes based upon families selecting CMCSS bus transportation and to practice new health/safety protocols with school-based personnel at each school prior to students returning.
- Allows the District to staff traditional schools and CMCSS K-12 Virtual efficiently and appropriately, as well as change master schedules to reflect the staffing.
- Allows a delayed start of the school year for students, but maintains fall break, spring break and graduation dates that have already been established. However, there are necessary changes to some of the other dates. Click here for an overview of the revised 2020-21 academic calendar.
- Other federal, state, and local orders will be taken into consideration as they continue to be released.
Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett and Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said they support the reopening plan.
“The reopening of schools is very challenging for schools across our nation,” Durrett said in a statement on Friday. “After hearing the plan that Mr. House presented, I believe our school system leadership is doing all they can to meet the challenges of educating our children while working to keep people healthy in a complex time. It is important that we back the decision of our school leaders while doing the best that we can to support our students."
“I fully support the ‘two-option’ plan announced by our schools director,” Pitts said in a statement on Friday. “I know a lot of thought and hard work went into this decision, and I think it is the best path to ensure the children of this community continue to learn and grow while ensuring their health and safety. Given all the uncertainty and challenges posed by the COVID-19 public health emergency, our school system is on the right track and deserves our support.”
To read the full plan from Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, click here.