BURNS, Tenn. (WTVF) — Students in Dickson County headed back to class Monday, and with the threat of the Delta variant, the district has implemented policies again this school year to try and keep everyone safe.
Danny Weeks, the district’s director of schools, said the pandemic has been tough to navigate, while trying not to disrupt learning.
MASKING/SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOLS
This year, masks are optional, and the district will try to social distance as much as possible when they can. Weeks said the pandemic has been tough for them in several ways: From enhancing cleaning to implementing social distancing and even hiring.
To also help with social distancing, Weeks said the district will keep their protocols for dropping off forgotten items. Many of the schools will have bins outside for parents/guardians to drop of their child’s forgotten lunch money, homework or backpack.
Weeks said the pandemic has also made it tough to hire, and they’re starting the new school year with open teaching and staff positions, like bus drivers and cafeteria positions.
Weeks knows it’s a challenge running the district during a pandemic, but his overall goal is to make sure students still get a quality education.
“We've learned that students learn better in groups and small group instruction, and so we are returning to those environments where students will work together on projects, work together reading groups or together in small group instruction and so, you know a lot of those things are returning to normal,” said Weeks.
The district is offering a virtual option this year and about 4% enrolled into that program. During COVID, Dickson County had about 20% of their students on virtual learning.
Weeks said he knows students learn better in-person, so they’re going to try to keep everyone safe from the virus and make things as normal as possible for returning students.
Some things for parents here in Dickson County to remember: This year the district is providing breakfast and lunch, free to all students. They’re reminding parents and guardians to bring their extra dose of patience this morning and afternoon.