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Diocese of Nashville to reopen 19 schools

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Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 23:56:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Diocese of Nashville is prepared to open all 19 of its Middle Tennessee schools at the beginning of August.

Superintendent Rebecca Hammel said schools were making preparations for the school year amid the pandemic.

The preparations include spacing out desks, using dividers for individual desks and requiring masks on students, faculty and staff.

"We've drafted protocols for schools to reopen and we've compiled the best of all that is out there. From the CDC from the American Academy of pediatrics and we've looked at what other countries have done successfully," said Hammel.

The system plans to inform parents about what they're doing to accommodate students.

Metro Nashville Public Schools has not announced a plan to reopen. However, Hammel said the Diocese of Nashville can more easily prepare itself to accept children because the district is smaller.

"They also have 86,000 children and thousands of teachers that, to get all of those moving parts in the same direction at the same time is probably a little more difficult than what I have to do here in my school system," said Hammel. "We have 5,000, probably 600 teachers and all of our schools operate at a different level as a school."

Schools will also have social distancing tape on the ground in hallways and specific entrances and exits to the building. Visitors will not be allowed and teachers will change classrooms rather than students.

A spokesperson for the school also said the administration plans to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and they will make changes if it gets worse or there's an outbreak of the virus in a particular school.