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Trousdale County students would resume full-time, in-person classes for the upcoming school year under a plan to be considered Thursday night.

The School Board will weigh in on an opening plan for the 2021-22 school year as part of its April 15 meeting, which will take place at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium at Jim Satterfield Middle School. The meeting is open to the public.

Director of Schools Clint Satterfield went over highlights of the plan during Tuesday’s work session.

“Our plan is to tell our parents now that in the fall, on the first day of school, we’re going to return to a traditional five-day, in-person instruction,” Satterfield told board members.

The next school year would incorporate a two-phase, blended learning model that would have schools either open or closed. There would be no hybrid system as has been the case for the current school year, nor would there be an entirely virtual option.

All students from kindergarten through 12th grade would have their own Chromebook that would be used for completing assignments. If a student had to be quarantined because of COVID-19 exposure, that student would be able to participate in education while out.

“We’re in school or we’re closed… The thing everybody has to understand is we’re going to have a lot of students off. They’re less than six feet apart and blended learning is going to be more important than ever before.”

School Board Chairman Johnny Kerr noted the adjustment that children and parents have made during the current hybrid model, saying, “The kids have learned how to learn, which allows us to go five days. Whatever happens, we can still access education.”

A decision on whether to require masks this fall will not be made until July’s board meeting. Satterfield said that would allow the board to base its decision on the most recent data available at the time.

Also on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting are plans for an estimated $2.15 million the school district will receive as part of the American Rescue Plan.

On Monday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee urged school districts to ensure federal education funding goes directly toward student achievement. Tennessee has received nearly $4.5 billion in federal COVID-19 relief stimulus funding allocated specifically for K-12 education.

Upgrading WiFi capability at all schools, funding dual enrollment for all high school students for two years and providing Chromebooks for K-2 students are among the local plans, which will require state approval.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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