MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Rutherford County, Assistant Superintendent Dr. James Sulivan announced that the district is considering a hybrid schedule for the second semester.
“School districts across Tennessee and the nation are struggling to find a way to safely continue instruction while also balancing the load on teachers and parents,” Director of Schools Bill Spurlock said in a press release. “While no solution is perfect, this proposal will help us to increase social distancing by reducing the number of students at school each day.”
Three "Flex Days" will also be added to the beginning of the second semester (Jan. 5-8). Teachers will provide activities and assignments for students to complete at home on their own schedule on these days.
Dr. Sulivan said the district is aiming to reduce the number of students in buildings on a daily basis to improve the ability to social distance and lessen the number of school closings.
The schedule hybrid system schedule would be in place for four weeks (Jan. 11 through Feb. 5). At that point, school officials would decide whether or not to continue the hybrid schedule for another four weeks or return to the district's original learning plan. That decision would be based on COVID-19 community data, such as spread rate and positivity rate.
Under the proposal, students in grades 7-12 would alternate in-person school days with asynchronous distance-learning days. Students whose last names start with A-L would attend in-person on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, whereas students with last names beginning with M-Z would attend school in-person on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Schools would work with blended families who may have different last names to ensure all household children are in the same group.
The two groups would then alternative in-person instruction every other day, thereby reducing the number of students in a school on any given day.