COVID-19 has changed just about every aspect of how we go about our lives over the course of 2020. And now we’ve reached a new school year. Our children’s education must continue, but how can we be sure that their health is being taken care of as much as possible.
The CDC as well as local governments have put guidelines in place to do just that. But even with this guidance, many parents feel uneasy about sending their kids off to school.
One of the main concerns is if the school is doing everything it can to protect the students from possible exposure to the virus.
So how do you know if your school is following current COVID-19 guidelines?
Bart Durham Injury Law is more than just a law firm in Nashville, TN and Bowling Green, KY. We’re a part of the community. This is why we’ve compiled the essential aspects of COVID-19 guidelines for schools in both Kentucky and Tennessee.
Knowing these guidelines will not only help keep your mind at ease as your children make their way to school. It will also help you hold the school accountable if you were to notice any aspects of the guidelines not being followed.
At Home vs In Person
The first consideration that many parents grapple with is whether to send their child into the physical school building or to use computers and tablets to complete the lessons at home. This choice is ultimately up to the parents but the local school district will determine what their options actually are.
For instance, Davidson County in Tennessee is giving parents the option to choose in-person or remote learning for the entirety of the school year.
The situation in Bowling Green, KY depends on what school you attend. The Bowling Green Independent School District is utilizing what’s called the Purple/Gold Schedule — half the students attend in-person classes on alternating days, with everybody learning from home on Fridays.
Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee did not make a statewide mandate for face coverings in schools. This was left up to each individual school district to make the call for what was best for their particular circumstances.
Davidson County has issued a county-wide mask mandate. This includes the school system. Teachers, students, and anybody else in the school is required to wear a mask unless they have a health issue that prevents them from doing so.
Schools in Bowling Green, KY have the same rules regarding face coverings.
School districts will heed the advice of the CDC to maintain a distance of six feet between people whenever possible. This includes spacing desks further apart and limiting the number of students in each class. Dividers may also be used to separate students.
For example, here’s a video that displays recommended techniques for organizing a classroom:
The CDC outlines recommended practices for cleaning and sanitizing a facility to slow the spread of the virus. Schools should be making use of this guidance.
Frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and tabletops should be cleaned and disinfected as much as possible. Teachers should keep cleaning products on-hand and wipe surfaces down after each class.
High school sports and other extracurricular activities are a major draw for crowds. The inability to keep a proper distance between spectators and players have caused Metro Nashville Public Schools to decide to postpone all sports seasons until further notice.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) has not explicitly banned fall sports. However, they have left it up to individual districts to look at their COVID-19 rates and make the call for themselves
Bowling Green High School will allow sports, but the seating will be capped at 30%. Here’s an updated resource for guidance at sporting events.
Resources for Updated Information
These guidelines will be continually updated as we learn more about the virus. Here are some resources for parents and students in Tennessee and Kentucky to stay up-to-date on recommended COVID-19 guidelines for schools:
Here is a list of resources that outlines what schools in Tennessee need to be doing to remain as safe as possible for students.
These guidelines will continue to change as the situation evolves. You should be continually checking back to these resources, paying attention to local news, and monitoring your child as they navigate the school year.
This is a difficult situation for everyone involved. Your child’s safety is the top priority throughout this process.