OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Oak Ridge Schools announced on Monday its students would be returning to school on Wednesday, July 29, amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Like other Tennessee schools, Oak Ridge students’ 2019-20 school year was cut short due to the health crisis; with education leaders seeking to navigate how to reopen safely in the coming weeks.

According to ORS superintendent Bruce Borchers, feedback from family surveys helped direct school officials in considering their strategy for reopening. Students will have options for either learning in-person or learning through an online resource called “ConnectOR.”

“We learned from our survey that the majority (85%) of you want to see us return to some semblance of normalcy with students participating in face-to-face instruction. You also told us your highest priorities in bringing students back safely are, in order:
1) regularly disinfecting common areas, 2) practicing social distancing, 3) providing temperature checks, 4) reducing non-essential visitors in the school, and 5) wearing masks as needed.

“In response to your voices, and to help reduce ambiguity for you, we created this evolving plan to aid in a safe reopening. With this plan, we hope to address questions you may have regarding the ever-changing landscape of learning, health, and safety recommendations we receive. We will work together to implement, continuously evaluate, and update this plan. It is our ultimate desire to protect the wellbeing of our students, staff, and families in our community, as we carefully plan to reopen this fall.”

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers

More information can be found on Oak Ridge Schools’ Reopening Plan 2020-21 website.