Metro Schools could announce plan for phase-in return to in-person learning on Monday

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Posted at 10:16 AM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 19:44:17-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Public Schools could announce a proposed phase-in schedule for a return to in-person learning as early as Monday.

MNPS announced the update Friday, saying the COVID-19 risk score – which measures community spread of the virus to determine when it’s safe to return to in-person learning – dropped below seven today.

According to the district, the score is calculated using three metrics: the 7-day average positivity rate weighted at 20%, the 7-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents weighted at 60%, and the transmission rate weighted at 20%. The score as of this morning is at 6.7 out of 10.

"It's incredibly great news, it's what the community Nashville has worked so hard to earn this option of in school learning. It's fantastic. I guess that I'm here today to say now more than ever where this mask," said Mayor John Cooper, "Our disease progress has been just great the last few weeks, we need little bit more of that. We don't need to lose the ground that we have. Schools have always been very science based, it's dipped below their metric now allows it. we only have a day of that, we need a weekend of that we need a few more days of that."

If the score remains below 7 throughout the weekend, Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle will announce a phase-in schedule to start bringing students back into the classroom for those parents who chose that option.

However, Cooper says this doesn't mean we stop taking steps to be safe.

"Wear a mask and socially distance please and we can get there," said Cooper.

“The Nashville community has made great progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Battle. “I’ve made a commitment to our families, students, and staff that we would offer the in-person option when it was safer to do so based on our community spread. We will continue to watch the numbers over the weekend, and if they are sustained below 7, we’ll be providing a proposed phase-in schedule for students on Monday afternoon.”

As students begin phasing back into the classroom, the district said it will be “increasing safety measures through a partnership with Meharry Medical College that will include COVID testing of students and staff who choose to participate, as well as greater compliance monitoring to support staff and provide further guidance to schools and the district on measures that can be taken to improve safety.”

Related story: MNPS Director: Classrooms won't reopen based on 'arbitrary timelines requested by the Governor'