Metro's youngest students head back to traditional learning

Metro school bus
Posted at 1:38 AM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 13:58:01-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville's youngest students head back to the classroom Tuesday morning.

The district's kindergarten through second grade students are the second round of students to be phased back into traditional learning. They follow a group of exceptional education students that returned to the classroom a few weeks ago.

Metro Nashville Public Schools says things will look different for students as they head back to class during a pandemic.

The district is asking parents to take a proactive role in keeping schools free of COVID-19. That means starting the day with a temperature check at home. If the child has a high temperature or isn't feeling well, they should be kept at home for the day. If a student gets to school and reports to the teacher that they didn't have their temperature checked that morning, school nurses or faculty members will perform that temperature check before the child enters school.

The district is requiring kids to wear masks on the school bus and practice social distancing. No more than two students will be allowed per seat.

The use of masks will continue once the child gets to their school. Students will be required to wear masks unless they have a documented medical exemption that is approved by the school. The district says masks will be provided to students who do not have one.

Metro Nashville Public Schools put out a video to help families prepare for what to expect when they arrive at school for the first time in months.

That includes getting used to new ways to greet your friends. Faculty members are encouraging kids to remember not to hug, and to try other things like waving, nodding, or giving air high fives to greet their friends.

Lunch won't be in the cafeteria right now. MNPS said meals will be provided in disposable containers. Students will either eat in their classrooms or in the cafeteria if social distancing is possible.

More students will be phased into traditional learning over the next few weeks. Here's a look at the current schedule:

  • Tuesday, October 13, students in grades Pre-K through 2 will return for a half-day, with another half-day on October 14 and two full days on October 15 and 16.
  • Tuesday, October 20, students in grades 3 and 4 will return to classes.
  • Tuesday, October 27, students in grades 5 and 6 will return to classes.
  • Wednesday, November 4, students in grades 7-8 will return to classes.
  • Thursday, January 7*, high school students in grades 9-12 will return to classes.

These dates, of course, are subject to change depending on Davidson County's status fighting COVID-19.

Families were able to choose to remain in virtual learning. Results of a family survey taken in September found that 54% of families wanted in-person learning to return. Forty-six percent wanted to remain in remote learning. About 74% of MNPS families responded to that survey.