Spike in COVID-19 cases forces numerous Middle Tennessee school districts to close for a week

The week off will give schools time to reset
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Posted at 11:57 AM, Aug 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-29 15:35:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A surge in pediatric cases is forcing school cancellations across Middle Tennessee.

On Monday, thousands of students won’t be in class as several districts will be closing until after Labor Day.

It's a statewide issue that continues to get worse.

At least three entire districts will be closed starting on Monday with a fourth district partially closing because of how many students and staff are sick right now with COVID-19 or in quarantine.

Warren, Wilson and Coffee County schools will be closed this week until September 7. Three Rutherford County schools will partially close. Those are:

  • Christiana Middle School is closed Monday
  • Seventh graders at Blackman Middle School will not report Monday or Tuesday.
  • Rockvale Elementary grades third through fifth will not meet Monday through Wednesday.

A Rutherford County Schools official said they are communicating with parents about a remote learning plan, but for the other districts, this week will be a time to reset with no learning.

Most districts are using stockpile or weather days to close down the schools

Many schools and state leaders are calling on Gov. Bill Lee to take action as in-person learning is still required as cases rise.

Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn sent a letter to district leaders Friday saying the state will consider waivers that would allow individual classrooms or schools to temporarily offer remote instruction.

However, that waiver must be requested and districts must outline and document the impact COVID-19 has on students and staff.

"I've been in this business 28 years and I've never seen the stress level, the tension level of educators and administrators, nurses, bus drivers," said Wilson County Director of Schools Jeff Luttrell.

More than 30,000 kids in the state ages five to 18 have tested positive since the start of August.

Experts worry that the number is only going to continue to climb.