NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In 2020, students across the mid-state endured the roller coaster of the COVID-19 pandemic as districts navigated trying to safely return to school.
Juggling work, school, and family life during a pandemic was challenging for many families.
“It is loud and busy but at least there’s a mute button on most of the calls so it’s a little wild, we’re all in this together, it’s okay,” Meagan Smith said. “And the other days we just kind of ping pong it at home."
In Nashville, Metro Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle closed schools to in-person learning in March. Dr. Battle said, "There was not, and is not, a playbook for unprecedented times like these.”
In the summer, families found out MNPS was going to start the fall semester virtually. Rachel Welty said she was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“I totally understand that it’s potentially dangerous for kids to go to school, it’s also an impossible situation for a working parent,” Welty said. “It’s going to cause a lot of problems for people.”
In October, Metro officials took steps to return to school and phase-in students. The decision sparked a rally, and some teachers were worried about the risks according to Amanda Kail, the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association President. "A lot of teachers right now are feeling that they are in some medical experiment and they didn't consent to that," Kail said.
In neighboring Williamson County, a group of parents also protested. People like Kelly Jackson were demanding the option to send students back virtually or in-person, which parents were ultimately given. "Students should have a choice, parents should have a choice, teachers should have a choice," Jackson said.
In Williamson and Coffee County, school officials also faced lawsuits regarding mask mandates in the classroom.
Fast forward to December, COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed. Now families across Tennessee are wondering what's in store for the 2021 school year.
What is the rebound?
As Middle Tennessee works to rebound from the impact of the Coronavirus, we want to help. Whether it's getting back to work, making ends meet during this uncertain time, or managing the pressure, we're committed to finding solution. In addition, we want to tell your stories of hope, inspiration, and creativity as Middle Tennessee starts to rebound.
Find more in the sections below
More Safely Back to School storiesHow schools are changing, and what you can do to help your child get the most from their education, in-person or virtual
Getting Back To WorkLearn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends MeetFind help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the PressureFeeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s RightKeep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
State of EducationFind ways to cope with the new normal around schools and celebrate students’ success in the age of Coronavirus.
We're Open Y'allSupport local businesses doing their best to stay open and serve their customers during Covid.