Clarksville-Montgomery Co. Schools offering virtual and in-person classes this school year

Teachers report back next week but students don't return until Aug. 31
Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 19:14:21-04

MONTGOMERY CO., Tenn. (WTVF) — While several school districts returned to the classroom this week, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools is holding off until August 31st.

Originally, the first half-day of school was scheduled for August 12th, but the district opted to use all of their snow days at the beginning of the year so that teachers could have more time to prepare.

If there is snow or another weather event, all classes will still be held virtually instead of canceling classes.

Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools is offering two options this year for families to consider: in-person learning or virtual. Students that return to the building will have to abide by social distancing restrictions and wear masks.

"About 40% of our student population at this point has chosen the virtual setting. So, that’s a huge number," said Erin Hedrick, CMCSS's K-12 Virtual Coordinator.

Students that opt for online will still have a pretty strict schedule. "They may log in with their teacher during a live session, they may have reading or math instruction, and then they would have some practice time to work independently with their learning mentor," said Hedrick.

Hedrick says the district wanted students to have access to their teachers so that teachers really know how the student is performing. In order to do so, students will have specific times when they must log on. Other parts of the day will allow for flexibility.

Every online student is required to have a learning mentor -- an adult that can oversee the student's education. That can be a family member, guardian or even a daycare worker. "That really does create that kind of classroom experience even though you’re at home," said Emily Vaughn, Director of Teaching, Learning and Innovation for CMCSS.

Even families that choose the traditional classroom route will still have to learn the virtual option. That's because if COVID-19 gets worse, the district may switch everyone to that option.

While this school year will certainly be different, Hedrick and Vaughn hope the quality of education won't miss a beat. "We want this to be a success and it’s going to take all of us working together to make that happen," said Hedrick.

"At the end of the day, students receive high quality instruction no matter where they are, that’s the most important thing," said Vaughn.