Williamson Co. superintendent: “We believe there’s an appropriate way to have school on campus this year”

Keeping Schools Safe

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Williamson County superintendent Jason Golden believes teachers will welcome students to campus come fall.

“Based on the medical information we have, we believe there is an appropriate way to have school on campus this year. The state has school districts broken up into eight different regions. We happen to be in the Mid- Cumberland region which includes Middle and Northern Tennessee,” Golden explained.

Since March, leadership in the Mid-Cumberland area has held weekly planning sessions to devise a school day that keeps students, and faculty, safe while targeting educational goals.

Golden’s plan heavily relies on guidance outlined by the Tennessee Commissioner of Health Dr. Lisa Piercey and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We are doing a side-by-side with our draft plan.”

Golden said they are comparing that to the Department of Health’s recommendations.

The Williamson County plan is tethered to transmission rate in the community, as the percentage increases, so do social distancing requirements.

As it stands now, numbers fall in what the district dubs the low-risk category. Everyone will have their temperature checked before entering campus, masks will not be mandatory, and social distancing will only take place in mass gathering areas like the cafeteria. The focus, instead, is placed on enhanced cleaning.

“Number one, there’s an emphasis on soap and water. Second to that is hand sanitizer. We’re cleaning what they call the high places like doorknobs,” said Golden.

As far as fall sports, Golden said the football teams have been working out and honoring social distancing, “we’re not doing contact right now.”

They won’t for the foreseeable future as the governor’s current mandate prohibits contact sports.

“It’s going to take a change at the state level for us to be able to have those sports in the fall, but we’re planning on it,” Golden said. 

While Golden is optimistic, he can’t ignore the recent COVID-19 trend. “We are a little concerned…we do see the reports that there is an increase in the positive active cases.”

This means well-made plans may change again in the next six weeks if the state can’t flatten the curve. 

“One of the things I’ve focused on with our folks is, this is temporary. We’re going to get through this,” said Golden.

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