FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — More Middle Tennessee students head back to school on Friday. The superintendent of Williamson County Schools is recommending everyone wear a mask, especially with concerns of the delta variant.
Last year, they bounced in and out of campus because of COVID-19. The virus is still a challenge, and it still takes daily work to serve students, he says.
The district will try to socially distance students three feet, and they're starting the year with masks being optional.
As of Friday, Williamson County Schools will not require a face covering, but Golden says they don't know what the future holds. There might come a point when they need to ask the school board to require masks. Golden said. "We’re watching it close, we’re talking every day, and we’re going to adjust if we need to based on how the pandemic treats us.”
Golden feels a little more comfortable knowing Williamson County has a high percentage of residents vaccinated from COVID-19. According to the state health department, 56% of people in the county have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
"A point of emphasis I've made to our administration and faculty is honor those who choose to wear a mask. A couple of examples we gave was, ‘hey, if you're not wearing a mask regularly, you might be up at the front of the classroom teaching without a mask, if you get close to somebody, consider wearing a mask. If you're working very close with somebody who isn’t wearing a mask. Consider wearing a mask,’ and, and we don't, we don't know where the numbers will go,” said Golden.
He also told parents if a child is feeling sick, keep them home. "We’ll take care of you. We’ve got a lot more tools in our tool box to make sure that students get that instruction, if it’s for a day or two, or even a week," Golden said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says all students should wear a mask while indoors and on school buses. In Metro Nashville Public schools, they will mandate masks this school year.