Tenn. Dept. of Education to release guidelines for nutrition, transportation, as schools plan for fall

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(WJHL) – The Tennessee Department of Education will release more information to school districts as leaders start planning the fall semester.

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn told News Channel 11 that new “tool kits” will be released starting June 12 to address nutrition, transportation, distance learning and more for the fall semester. A total 20 content-specific kits will be released.

Schwinn said this guidance, as well as the guidance released Tuesday about going back to school in the fall, was put together after consulting superintendents across the state.

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“The two things we’re asking people to really prioritize is making sure that everyone on school campuses, that they are safe, and that kids are getting a high quality education in whatever format that looks like,” Schwinn said. “For a lot of our schools in counties or areas that there aren’t a lot of positive cases, we’re saying take the necessary precautions, but really make sure that everyone feels safe being on campus and you’re getting back to normal as quickly as possible in whatever that looks like.”

Schwinn also stressed that the back-to-school guidelines are meant to make it easy for schools to adjust depending on how prevalent active cases of COVID-19 are in their area.

Schwinn, who has two young daughters, also said parents should keep in mind how differently school may be for their children.

“I think how we talk to our kids about what school might feel like, how we help them see their classrooms before the first day and start to get some of that anxiety away and really focus on the whole child and making sure we’re taking care of them as little kids, and that we’re making sure to let parents know what to expect and why,” Schwinn said.

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