Coronavirus in Tennessee: Gov. Lee recommends school districts to remain closed for the rest of the school year


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The governor has recommended for schools to remain closed through the end of the school year.

Governor Bill Lee announced the decision Wednesday regarding school districts reopening or remaining closed across the state for spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

MORE: Reactions across the state regarding Gov. Lee’s recommendation to keep schools closed amid coronavirus concerns

PREVIOUS STORY: Governor to decide if Tennessee schools will reopen this academic year

Last month, on Tuesday, March 24, Lee had recommended during a COVID-19 press conference that all school systems close through April 24. School districts across the state complied and closed buildings to students and staff before developing distance learning resources. Earlier this week, the governor issued an extension of the statewide stay-at-home executive order through April 30.

Other moves had been made leading up to the governor’s decision Wednesday.

Last week, due to Gov. Bill Lee’s recommendation closing all schools until April 24, the Tennessee Board of Education voted Thursday on emergency COVID-19 rules detailing how to proceed with the school year.

RELATED: Coronavirus in TN: State board of education passes COVID-19 emergency rules

Also last week, Dr. Penny Schwinn, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education spoke at one of Gov. Lee’s daily COVID-19 press conferences, assuring Tennesseans that the state DOE has and always will put kids first when making decisions amid the health pandemic; she also mapped out how the state DOE had been coordinating and communicating with principals and superintendents during the school closures to provide resources.

The school closures had amplified the needs of students with some limited resources, such as food and access to technology in order to partake in any distance learning.

School districts have since been working on providing free meals to children, devices and packets for students as they try to learn at home and teachers have also developed learning tool kits for students and parents to access.

TNReady testing had also been canceled in mid-March amid the Middle Tennessee tornadoes causing some school closures as well as COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

RELATED: Coronavirus in Tennessee: General Assembly passes education bill to cancel TNReady tests, teacher evaluations

Tennessee has more than 1,800 schools within 147 school districts across the state.

The state DOE issued a “Guidance on School and District Accountability” sheet for the Spring 2020 School Closures. Read below:

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