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Some changes coming… Elizabethton City Schools make a decision for K-5 in-school attendance

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
The Elizabethton City School system announced on Monday that beginning on September 21, 2020, that students that attend grades K-5 in the city school system will start attending school four days a week – Monday – Tuesday and Thursday-Friday while leaving Wednesday as a remote day for all students.
According to Director of Schools Richard VanHuss, the decisions that are made for student attendance is a joint decision.

“After consultation with the Carter County and Regional Health Departments, Elizabethton City Schools will transition from our current, two days a week in-person instruction plan, to four days a week in-person instruction plan for students in grades Pre- K – 5th grade beginning September 21, 2020,” VanHuss stated.

“Grades 6-12 will remain on the hybrid two days a week in-person schedule for the immediate future.  Wednesday will continue to be a remote day for all students. 

“This will allow for deep cleaning procedures to continue at all school locations.  This change does not affect students who are on the distance learning track.”

VanHuss emphasized that the city schools will continue to use the local COVID-19 data and guidance from the local health department as a guide to making informed decisions regarding the school’s schedules.

The director has said all along that the safety of the staff and students will continue to be the number one concern going forward.

Although everything is being done as humanly possible to protect the students there are no way to guarantee a risk-free environment during the global pandemic.

“Social distancing will continue to be a challenge in all our schools,” VanHuss stated. “Therefore, those entering district facilities assume and accept any risks associated with being present in a building occupied by students, staff, visitors, and faculty members.

“The school system and the Carter County Health Department will continue to work together on close contact tracing when positive cases are identified.”

The school system is providing daily updates of positive COVID-19 cases in each school on the ECS COVID Dashboard.

The main purpose of the dashboard is to keep parents, staff, and the community informed when there are positive cases in the school system and where those cases are.

Along with the dashboard, parents will be contacted via a letter or email to each family when a positive case is identified within a school in the system.

VanHuss encourages parents to be proactive when it comes to their child’s health.

“Please remember to check your child’s temperature before school and monitor for any symptoms of sickness,” said VanHuss. “If fever or other symptoms are present, please keep your child home to prevent further spread of any sickness within the school system.

“Remind your child to wash their hands frequently throughout the day and apply hand sanitizers often to reduce the spread of germs.”

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