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Hamblen County Schools announces more specific fall plans, announces some staff COVID-positive

It is still unknown if school will begin online, in-person or using a hybrid method.

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Hamblen County Schools announced changes to its 2020 school schedule Sunday.

In a Facebook post, the superintendent said a draft of the school year calendar is available on their website. The school system wants feedback from parents and students on the calendar.

"We will decide later in August whether we will attend all virtually, all in class, or a combination of the two," Dr. Jeff Perry said via the post. 

He went on to say,  "most parents, students, and staff want a calendar which adapts specifically to their own vacation and family plans, work schedules, and individual needs."

Friday, Jan. 22 will be a half day for students, with second semester beginning on Monday, Jan. 25.

Dr. Perry said those changes were made to give students 85 days of instruction in the first semester. 

The end of the 2020-2021 school year is currently set for June 7, according to Perry, with graduation being held on June 4.

Perry said parents and students can email Karlene Webb at webbk@hcboe.net with comments and concerns about the new calendar.

Hamblen County Department of Education. 13K likes. Education

In the same Facebook post, Perry announced several staff members of the school district or their spouses tested positive for COVID-19. 

A spouse of a Fairview-Marguerite Elementary teacher tested positive, but the staff member was negative, according to Perry. He said the teacher came in contact with students at the school's Kindergarten registration event. 

A staff member at East Ridge Middle School tested positive for the virus after helping parents during deployment of the county's chrome books, but it is unknown if the teacher had the virus at the time they came in contact with the parents. 

Two staff members working for the ESP daycare tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

According to Perry, all ESP parents were notified at the time. 

Perry said other staff members have tested positive but is not identifying them because they didn't come in contact with any students or parents. 

However, Perry did say, "Parents may want to monitor for signs of the virus or have their children tested if they are concerned." 

Perry said the district will continue being as transparent as possible without violating confidentiality rules. "Of course, we cannot share the names of a specific staff or student, but we will do our best to keep our community informed. It is also important to note that we are not always notified if a staff member or student has tested positive. This would be especially true over the summer because they are under no obligation to contact us if they test positive."

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