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Jan. 16 Update on Phased Return to In-Person Learning

January 16, 2021

As a reminder, there will be no school on Monday, January 18 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King., Jr. Day. Classes for all students will resume on Tuesday, January 19, with traditional students continuing to learn remotely.

As we shared before Winter Break, the district has a contingency plan for a prioritized return to in-person learning for our youngest students. On Monday, January 25, CMCSS Pre-K through sixth-grade traditional students will return to in-person learning. Seventh through twelfth-grade traditional students will continue learning remotely until further notice. Next week, schools will be reaching out to parents and guardians of students in seventh through twelfth grade who are in self-contained, special populations classrooms to share more information about a phased return to in-person learning the week of January 25. After evaluating this phased return, the district will share more information about the return to in-person learning for all traditional students in upper grades.  

On average, there have been around 300 more students per grade level impacted by COVID-19 cases in the district’s upper grades than lower grades. CMCSS is prioritizing an in-person return for younger students and those in self-contained classrooms due to the greater difficulty distance learning poses for these students, the lower transmission rates among younger children, and the greater childcare burden placed on families with younger children. The district is hopeful this phased approach will help address staffing issues due to COVID-19 related leave and the substitute shortage that are expected to continue as the pandemic still exists.

Due to the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic, families should always have plans in the event that school buildings are closed and remote learning must take place. Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Health’s requirements for contact tracing and quarantines are still in place. Therefore, families should have plans in the event a child must transition to remote learning due to being a close contact to a positive case

Finally, as Onsite Employee Health and Wellness partners with the Montgomery County Health Department to distribute vaccines to CMCSS employees in the coming weeks, the potential exists that schools will temporarily transition to remote learning in order to expedite the vaccination process. The Communications Department will communicate with families as soon as plans are finalized.