SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Sullivan County students have one final weekend of sleeping-in before school begins Monday, Aug. 9. The students will have a full day when they return. School leaders hope it will be as normal a school year as possible.
“There is still much that I’m learning, that many of us are learning. There’s still a lot going on, but we’re excited to start the year in the classroom, in our classrooms, and we’re thrilled to welcome our students, families, and communities back to our campuses,” said Evelyn Rafalowski, Sullivan County Interim Director Schools.
Sullivan County is not requiring face masks, but they are recommending them. Parents are asked to monitor their children’s health and keep them home if they show any signs of serious illness.
Schools will continue to keep water fountains closed but will have water bottle filling stations where students can fill their own water bottles, among other precautions.
“Our schools are already set with signage for social distancing and traffic flow within our buildings, we haven’t removed that. We haven’t removed those protocols and we will continue to do some of those and we’ll slowly begin to open our buildings to families as well during the course of the day, but it’ll be a slow process for us, but we’re getting there,” said Rafalowski.
Sullivan County had a lot of changes over the summer, the biggest being the new West Ridge High School.
Around 1,700 students from across the district will become part of the new Wolf Pack.
“With any situation, even if we had no new schools, the first two weeks of school is always challenging with transportation and traffic, it’s just what happens. So I would ask for patience and if we see something that we need to change, we may be making changes, and just be patient with us and we’ll get it right,” said Rafalowski.
Washington County, Virginia, Elizabethton, Dickenson County and Tri-Cities Christian Academy schools all start on Monday as well.