Fifth grade students at Trousdale County Elementary School were having to go to complete virtual classes for a week after a teacher tested positive for COVID-19.

The announcement was made by the district late last week and came after contact tracing determined that two of the other three fifth-grade teachers had been in close contact with the one who tested positive, according to Director of Schools Clint Satterfield.

“Fall break kind of helped lessen the blunt, because we were able to count those days as part of the quarantine,” he said.

The district’s plan for COVID-19 requires a 14-day quarantine for a positive COVID test. Since students were out last week for fall break, the move to virtual learning only had to be for one week, unless circumstances change.

Satterfield said the three teachers quarantining would be eligible to return to school on Monday, Nov. 2.

“We are really trying to keep our schools open in the midst of a pandemic,” Satterfield said. “We are trying to avoid a school district closure.”

All other grades at Trousdale Elementary were unaffected.

Satterfield noted that all fourth- and fifth-grade students now had Chromebooks and that teachers and students had been training to use Google Classroom beforehand in case this situation arose.

The state’s district dashboard as of Tuesday listed no data reported among students and staff in Trousdale County last week. The district typically reports numbers each Sunday to the state.

Trousdale County Schools have also begun sending Learning Model Agreements home with students. Parents are asked to decide whether they wish to return to traditional five-day classes after the New Year (if the School Board makes that decision) or move to completely virtual classes for the spring semester.

The district is asking parents to return the LMAs by Friday, Nov. 6 to allow enough time to provide adequate resources based on parents’ decisions.

The School Board at its Oct. 15 meeting opted for a three-week trial run of five-day classes at the elementary school after the Thanksgiving break. A final decision on whether to open full-time or stick with the hybrid model is expected to come at the Board’s December meeting.

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

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