NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Nashville Public School district released its COVID-19 guidelines ahead of the 2021-2022 school year.
“Wearing a mask is still our best bet to stay safe and prevent the chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19 indoors,” Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle said in a press release. “We highly recommend wearing one at the start of the year, and we will continue to monitor community transmission rates and cases in our schools to adjust our protocols if necessary, to keep everyone safe.”
Students and staff will be highly encouraged to wear masks indoors, but they will not be required and will be the choice of each individual or their parents.
The district strongly encourages any student or staff member who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear their mask while indoors, especially those who have underlying health conditions or who are under the age of 12.
Schools will be directed to find opportunities to encourage and promote social distancing whenever possible to reduce the chances of spreading the virus or requiring close-contact quarantines.
New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says three feet of distance is a good standard for schools. The district is asking schools to orient classrooms and desks to maximize distance or create smaller group clusters.
CONTRACT TRACING / TESTING
School nurses will conduct contact tracing and will be able to conduct COVID rapid tests on an as-needed basis. Permission forms will be included in the 2021-22 Student-Parent Handbook.
Visitors will be limited to schools, although those who are visiting for an educational purpose, such as mentors, tutors, advisors, and others offering classroom support, will be allowed.
Outside groups also will be able to use school facilities when students are not in classes.
All visitors will be encouraged to wear masks while in schools and other MNPS buildings.
MNPS has partnered with the Metro Public Health Department to offer vaccine clinics for 7th-graders seeking their TDAP vaccines and will continue to find opportunities to make vaccines easily accessible for parents wishing to inoculate themselves or their students against the coronavirus.