FAIRVIEW, Tenn. (WTVF) — Fairview Middle School will be closed Friday, August 20 due to faculty/staff illness.
Williamson County School Board member Eric Welch made the announcement on social media Thursday evening.
The school is not able to adequately staff the building and classrooms due to the number of illnesses. He said 23 of the 77 faculty and staff members assigned to Fairview Middle are scheduled to be out due to illness.
Read the full announcement below:
"Fairview Middle School will be closed tomorrow, Friday, August 20th because of faculty/staff illness and an inability to staff the building and classrooms. FVMS will be using one of the stockpiled, inclement weather days. There are 10 days built into the school calendar. This is the first inclement weather day used this school year, leaving nine days for Fairview Middle. Remote learning is not available this year, because of new State guidelines. Today, 187 of the 560 students enrolled were out due to illness. Tomorrow, 23 of the 77 faculty and staff members assigned to Fairview Middle are scheduled to be out due to illness. For that reason, tomorrow, Fairview Middle will be closed and using one of our 10 inclement weather days. Again, remote learning is not an option this school year, because of new State guidelines forced on the district."
School board member Rick Wimberly tweeted Thursday that 187 of the 560 students enrolled were out due to COVID, and that 23 of the 77 faculty and staff members assigned to Fairview Middle were out today with COVID.
Fairview Middle to be closed tomorrow because of COVID cases (187 of 560 students, 23 of 77 faculty). We'll have to use one of ten weather days for them and no remote learning can be offered because of new State requirements. #WCSedu— Rick Wimberly (@RickWimberly) August 19, 2021
As of Aug. 20, the district reported that 76 staff/faculty and 337 students were isolating with a confirmed positive case.
For an updated list of positive COVID cases for the district click on the link.
Jameisha Dowell has two kids who attend Fairview Middle School and says thankfully she's working from home. She knows many parents who aren't sure what to do because their kids were told to stay home, with no real timeline for when they can return.
Students and staff were told to stay home if they or anyone in their family showed signs of symptoms. If any number of them are told to quarantine, Dowell worries the district may run out of days to take off.
"What are the next steps? That's all I really want to know. Like are we going to keep using inclement weather days since they don't have the option to work remotely right now," Dowell said.
When talking about inclement weather days, the school board says each school gets 10 total for the entire year, and they will be down to nine after today. For every day the school goes over their limit, they have to make up for those days at the end of the school year.
As for changes to safety protocol, this is what parents can expect district-wide beginning Monday (8/23):
- Visitors are limited to those with essential school business.
- No lunch visitors are allowed.
- Volunteers are limited based on essential tasks needed in the school, and elementary school volunteers are required to wear a mask when interacting with students.
- Assemblies during the school day are limited to those determined to be essential to the operation of the school.
- Indoor assemblies will not be held during a time of "high spread" in the school.
- Field trips limited to venues honoring WCS safety protocols.
- Masking is strongly recommended, encouraged, and advised for all students, staff and visitors while inside a WCS school, WCS facility and the Central Office.
You can find a complete list of mitigation strategies here.
Remember, remote learning is not an option because of new state guidelines requiring schools to be in-person. Students were told they had to make a decision before school began on if they would enroll for virtual school.
In Williamson County, there is not a mask mandate for middle and high schools. There is a mandate in place for elementary schools, but there is an opt out option for parents due to Gov. Lee's recent executive order.
But staff and visitors are still required to wear masks at the elementary level. Vaccines are available for kids 12 and up.
As of Thursday, Williamson Medical Center says there is an increased demand on their COVID inpatient floors and intensive care unit, noting every critically ill patient is unvaccinated. Of the 36 COVID hospitalizations, only four are vaccinated, according to the medical center.