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Guidelines for East Tenn. schools during 2021-22 school year

Schools across East Tennessee are announcing new health guidelines ahead of the 2021-22 school year.
Schools across East Tennessee are announcing new health guidelines ahead of the 2021-22 school...
Schools across East Tennessee are announcing new health guidelines ahead of the 2021-22 school year.
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 2:09 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 12:38 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Schools across East Tennessee are announcing new health guidelines ahead of the 2021-22 school year.

Clinton City Schools

Clinton City School officials said the district plans to return operations for the 2021-22 school year. The school will continue comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting routines in all buildings. Schools in the district will not mandate masks or vaccinations for students or employees.

Knox County Schools

Superintendent Bob Thomas said the school board does not expect COVID-19 restrictions implemented a year ago to be in place for the 2021-22 school year.

At this time, Knox County Schools will follow these guidelines:

  • Masks will not be required for students, teachers or employees, although they will be allowed at each individual’s discretion;
  • Temperature checks will not be required for students, employees or visitors;
  • Knox County Schools will not conduct contact tracing;
  • Visitors will be allowed in schools; and
  • Extracurricular activities and field trips will be allowed.

Loudon County Schools

Loudon County School officials said they will resume traditional in-person daily instructional learning while adhering to additional safety protocols.

The district will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Face coverings recommended but not required
  • No water fountain use: students are encouraged to bring a water bottle
  • Large group assemblies will be limited for essential purposes only
  • Academic field trips that can be conducted safely given current conditions
  • Social distancing within the classroom
  • Student groups may eat in places other than the cafeteria as determined by school administration
  • Visitors to buildings during normal operating hours will be limited to appointments only
    • All visitors will have COVID-19 symptom screener
    • Parent lunch visits will not be allowed until lunchroom seating returns to normal
  • Every Loudon County School will have a nurse on staff
    • Students who have temperatures above 100.4 will be placed in a separate area with a mask and monitored until parents arrive

- Loudon County Schools will take the following safety precautions during the upcoming school year:

- Hand sanitization stations available throughout the school

- Increased cleaning and sanitation

- Parents requested to temperature check students before arrival

- Increased air circulation in classrooms through windows, doors, air purifiers as feasible and practical

- Bus drivers will disinfect buses routinely and keep at least six windows (depending on weather conditions) open to create air flow

Maryville City Schools

Maryville City School officials said they plan to operate as, “normal as possible” for the 2021-22 school year.

  • Vaccinations are not required
  • Masks are optional at this time

Hamblen County Schools

Hamblen County School official said it their hope to begin the school year, “without the many of the restriction we were forced to impost last year”, for the 2021-22 school year.

  • Masks are optional to both teachers and students
  • Temperatures will not be taken before students enter the school, however parents are asked to closely monitor the health of their children
  • No restrictions on athletic events and spectators will not be required to mask up
  • Students will be able to eat lunch in the cafeteria again this school year. All students will also be eligible for free lunch next school year
  • Hamblen County Schools will allow students to attend field trips and participate in class/school club experiences
  • They will continue our efforts to sanitize the classrooms, furniture, and buses to keep staff/students safe. We will also continue our efforts to have students maintain safe/healthy hygiene habits such as washing hands, coughing into the elbows, not sharing personal items, etc.

Alcoa City Schools

Alcoa City Schools, from Rebecca Stone--Director of Schools: “We are returning as close to normal as possible. No mask mandates. Haven’t received guidance from state or local health department yet so we haven’t completed our protocols.”

Sevier County Schools

Dr. Parton and his leadership team are currently working to finalize plans for the return of students to school this fall all around Sevier County.

Sevier County Schools spokesperson says school administrators from across the district will meet to participate in training and share best practices in late July that they will in turn share with all other school personnel during August in-service days.

  • In accordance with guidance from both state and Federal governments, students will be welcomed back into school buildings for in-person instruction
  • Vaccines are not required for participating in school activities
  • The schools said it will continue utilizing updated CDC and state recommended social distancing, hygiene, and sanitation measures where practicable to safeguard our students and staff members

Oak Ridge Schools

Oak Ridge City Schools announced they plan to start the school year full-time with face-to-face instruction without the COVID-19 restrictions that were in place during the previous school year.

The school system received an Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Grant. The ELC COVID Testing Grant is intended to support the reopening and in-person instruction of K-12 schools through supporting comprehensive screening testing for PreK-12 schools. The ELC COVID Testing Grant Funds will be used to purchase COVID-19 test kits that will be available in each school clinic. School nurses will be prepared to use the COVID-19 test kits with students and staff exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

Test results will be received from the laboratory within 24 hours which will assist the school in maintaining a healthy teaching and learning environment for students and staff.

Also included from Oak Ridge Schools:

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at multiple locations in each school. Students will be reminded and encouraged to wash their hands multiple times each day.
  • Custodians will disinfect classroom and high traffic area surfaces such as cafeteria tables daily.
  • Buses will be disinfected prior to the morning and afternoon run each day.
  • Students and staff identified as being in close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 will be restricted from attending school in compliance with the Tn. Department of Public Health COVID-19 Return to School Decision Support Algorithm.
  • Masks are optional at this time but may become required if the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases were to escalate in Anderson or adjoining counties.

Anderson County Schools

Anderson County Schools have returned back to in-person classes. The schools will not tolerate bullying - teachers and administrators have been trained to look for signs. Anti-bullying programs will be in place.

The school spokesperson says parents need to talk with their children’s teachers about mask-wearing.

  • Temperature checks will not be given to students or staff.
  • Masks are optional but the school will evaluate throughout the year if needed.
  • Sick students with COVID-19 symptoms will be placed separately from children who have minor, first-aid needs.
  • In-house rapid COVID-19 tests will be available.
  • Nurses will be at every school.
  • Sports are at full capacity.

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