WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TN (WSMV) – Students at Williamson and Rutherford County Schools return to class Friday morning for the first day of the 2021-22 school year.

At Williamson County Schools, masks are being recommended and encouraged but have not been mandated.

WCS Superintendent Jason Golden says what’s most important for students to know is if you’re sick, don’t try to be a hero, just don’t come to school.

Golden says students still have Zoom capabilities and they’ll be able to take care of missed assignments.

Right now, the district is following CDC guidelines as they return to school and have a number of mitigation strategies in place.

That includes stressing vaccination, continuing social distancing, and continuing to mask when they can.  

Golden says the district has talked with local physicians, the health department, and many stakeholders about the decision.

“We have heard from our community, just about every thought. We’ve had folks say please require masks and we have others say don’t you dare require masks,” Golden said. “I want everyone to know that what we’re working on is analyzing those CDC guidelines to talk about what’s best locally and we’re keeping an eye on what we can do here locally based on our local conditions.” 

So, what happens if cases get worse? Or circumstances change?

Golden says a mask mandate is not out of the question. He says the district’s mission is to educate and make sure students are safe when they’re in school.

“If there is a need for masks then it may change, I may recommend to the board at some point that we need to require masks,” he said. “But we’re going to do what we can to honor the CDC guidelines to have those layered strategies to do what we can to fulfill our mission.” 

Last spring the school system held a vaccine clinic, vaccinating about 2,500 faculty and staff.

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