MNPS proposes phase-in schedule for students to return to school, extends window to decide between in-person & virtual learning

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle has extended the window for families to decide between in-person and virtual learning.

The proposed schedule for phasing students back into in-person learning for families who choose in-person learning has also been released, as COVID-19 conditions allow.

“After a great deal of consultation with Board members and other stakeholders, I believe this phase-in schedule can result in a safe and thoughtful return to school for students,” Dr. Battle said. “In order to make this happen, we need all community members to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks and social distancing whenever possible.”

The phase-in schedule will give schools and MNPS the ability to adjust plans as necessary and safely bring both students and staff back into the in-person learning environment.

The proposed schedule for students to return is as follows:

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

To give teachers and staff a chance to prepare for in-person learning, there will be synchronous/live teaching on the day of virtual instruction before the phase-in date. With high school-aged students at high risk of spreading COVID-19, as well as the scheduling of high schools, Dr. Battle and MNPS principals determined it be best if those students started in the second semester.

“We would love to have our high schoolers back in our classrooms as soon as possible, but waiting until the start of the second semester is not only the safest option but also the least disruptive to the learning progress of our students,” said Dr. Sue Kessler, principal of Hunters Lane High School. “My fellow principals and I appreciate the thoughtful and safety-driven approach to returning to schools presented by Dr. Battle.”

To give families time to take in this new information, the deadline for the family decision survey has been extended by three days; the new deadline is Friday, September 18.

Families are encouraged to check out the MNPS website for links and instructions on how to fill out the survey. They can also view frequently asked questions about the phasing-in of students for in-person learning <a href=”https://www.mnps.org/blog/2020/9/6/family-decision-survey” target=”_blank”>here</a>.

Parents who have already filled out the survey and want to change their decision before the deadline Friday should contact the MNPS <a href=”https://www.mnps.org/contact-us” target=”_blank”>Family Information Center</a>.

The survey will ask families to make their decision about in-person or virtual learning for the rest of the school year, but an opportunity will arise in December to adjust their plans for the second semester if they deem it necessary.