Reopening Schools: Anderson County school leaders answer back-to-school questions

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ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – Parents and students in Anderson County got some of their back to school questions answered on Tuesday night.

The district held a virtual town hall to address what the beginning of school could look like and what new changes will be in place.

Several different school system leaders participated. The Director of Schools, Tim Parrott, says their main goal of the night was to make sure they’re giving out the information they have at this point and to alleviate some of the fears parents might have heading back to school.

“For right now our plan is to open school face to face on August the 10th. You can bank on that. Unless the governor says ‘hey we can’t go back to school,’ that’s our plan,” Parrott said.

Anderson County Schools directors answered questions about potential changes on the way in the fall.

“We’re going to have temperature checks before the students and staff come into the building. We’re going to have hand sanitizer stations at the entrances to all the schools,” Assistant Director of Schools, Greg Deal, said.

Deal also says they’ll have a nurse on each campus, which means hiring additional nursing positions as some nearby schools right now share a nurse.

The Director of Transportation, Kelly Meyers, talked about some of the extra safety measures on school buses.

“To get that many students together on the bus, they will have to wear a face mask. So we would be requiring it, if we were to start tomorrow, we’d be requiring face masks on the bus,” Meyers said.

School leaders also addressed some concerns. They explained they are developing alternative learning options.

“If we have parents that are uncomfortable about sending their children back to school or children that have health issues, that we will be able to offer them the option of remaining with us as Anderson County students, but they may not be in the building, but they may be doing their work online,” Deal said.

And as they work on their plan to reopen, the Director of Schools is hoping to get across what they know now, noting that information does change.

“We’re going to try our best to make sure that we keep students, parents and the community as safe as possible, and to limit the risk of spreading the virus,” Parrott said.

We’re told the back to school plan will be presented to the Anderson County school board for a vote at their July 6 meeting.

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