School Board (2)

Sumner County’s middle and high school students are dividing their time between in-person and virtual learning through Dec. 4.

Students at all Pre-K, CDC and K-5 schools except one are continuing to attend in-person classes on a full-time basis.

According to the school district’s Pathways to Reentry Plan in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the school system will move to a hybrid model if the community spread rate is at .5 percent or higher. Community spread is calculated by the total number of active COVID-19 cases determined by the State Health Department divided by the county’s population of 191,293. There were 852 active cases reported on Nov. 12 resulting in a spread rate of .45 percent.

The school district announced on Nov. 13 that it would implement the Extended Hybrid Schedule beginning Nov. 16 through Dec. 4.

“We’re seeing the numbers increasing both inside and outside of school,” Sumner County Schools Spokesman Jeremy Johnson said on Friday. “The numbers have been running right on the edge and we felt like it was likely to get us to those hybrid numbers over the weekend or on Monday and we wanted to give parents as much time to plan as possible.”

According to the school district’s Extended Hybrid Schedule, 6th through 12th grade students attend traditional classes at school two days a week, and at home with Sumner Connect and Google Classroom two other days, depending on the first letter of their last name. On Wednesdays, all students attend via Sumner Connect and Google Classroom.

All sporting activities will continue as scheduled, according to Johnson.

By Monday, Nov. 16 the active case number had jumped to 1,321 - placing the community spread rate at .69 percent. The school district has said it will move to an all-virtual model if community spread hits 1 percent.

Johnson said the school district decided to continue in-person learning for the younger students because the number of positive cases of COVID-19 are not as high in those age groups.

One Sumner County elementary school, Lakeside Park, has moved to an all-virtual format for the next two weeks. Parents were notified of the change on Friday.

“We had some concerns about the number of cases we were seeing, primarily among staff,” said Johnson. Johnson declined to say how many staff members or students have tested positive at the school.

Unlike several school districts, Sumner County Schools does not report the number of students or staff that are quarantined. Nor do they report the number of cases at individual schools.

Students at Lakeside Park, one of the district’s smallest schools with around 320 students, will return to in-person learning on Nov. 30, according to Johnson.

All Sumner County students will be out of school Nov. 23 -27 for a weeklong Thanksgiving break.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education’s COVID-19 District Dashboard, Sumner County Schools reported 90 new student cases and 21 new staff cases for the week ending Nov. 5. There were 50 student cases and 15 staff cases reported the week before that.

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