MNPS unveils plan for students to return to school

(Metro Nashville Public Schools)
(Metro Nashville Public Schools)

Metro Nashville Public Schools unveiled on Tuesday three different scenarios for what school will look like this fall, but the biggest question families are asking – will students return to the classroom – won’t be answered until early July.

MNPS Director Adrienne Battle detailed three scenarios for how school will be conducted depending on how frequently COVID-19 is being spread in the community. The plan was developed by a task force co-chaired by Battle and Dr. Alex Jahangir, chair of the city’s COVID-19 task force.

Adrienne Battle, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS website)
Adrienne Battle, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS website)

In scenario one, there is virtually no spread of the virus within Davidson County and students return to the classroom full-time with some safeguards.

Scenario two would see students return to the classroom at least part-time with significant social distancing protocols. This scenario corresponds to phase three of Mayor John Cooper’s road map to reopening the entire city. Nashville was supposed to enter phase three of its reopening plan this week, but because the city saw mixed results in the daily COVID-19 case counts, Cooper decided to remain in phase two.

Scenario three would involve continued spread of the virus in Davidson County and students would participate in tele-learning. Unlike in the spring, the remote learning curriculum would be more formal and students would be graded on their work.

As a point of reference, if school was scheduled to start this week, MNPS would operate under scenario three.

Cooper announced on Monday that funding is in place to provide all 90,000 students with netbooks and internet hotspot devices for those who need them. The new technology is being purchased with federal CARES Act funds.

Details of the reopening still need to be ironed out. Each school, organization, or district will develop their own specific implementation plans for how to operate under the three scenarios outlined.

“Unique challenges, such as vulnerable student populations, facility capacities, or successful implementation of remote learning in an equitable fashion, must be considered when developing plans for implementing the framework,” the district said in a press release.