NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Department of Education on Wednesday launched its COVID-19 District Information Dashboard after technical issues had delayed the initial launch date earlier this week.
Officials with TDOE had announced last week the dashboard would launch Sept. 8, but due to technical issues, the launch happened Wednesday, Sept. 9.
The tool is part of the state’s plan efforts to report additional COVID-19 information at school and district levels, including numbers of new positive COVID-19 cases in districts and schools.
According to TDOE, last week officials said as the final two districts in the state begin the new school year, the new dashboard will launch on the department’s website that will display information reported by districts about COVID-19 in their communities, and whether or how positive cases within a school may impact the way teachers deliver instruction to students.
Users will have two ways to access the dashboard information:
- A map view— An interactive map of the state of Tennessee will enable users to hover over their county or region and select their school to reveal more information.
- And a menu view—A drop-down menu will allow users to quickly select a particular district of interest to reveal more information.
To protect individual privacy, schools with fewer than 50 students are not reported in this data. Further, for schools reporting a number that is fewer than five positive student or employee COVID-19 cases, the school will be listed without a specific number of cases for the category.
The department is requesting districts submit information on a weekly basis to report positive COVID-19 cases in districts and schools, as well as whether or how positive cases may impact the way teachers deliver instruction to students. While over half of districts have submitted data for this first week of reporting, TDOE said Wednesday that full reporting across every district is expected by Sept. 22.
“Tennessee has led the way in supporting districts for a safe return to school, opening classrooms for the new school year, and now providing the public with information around how COVID-19 may be impacting their school communities through a district-populated dashboard,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “This dashboard strikes an important balance in protecting student privacy while providing parents, educators, and community members with information they need to make the best possible decisions for their families.”
During this first week of reporting, TDOE said a majority of districts have submitted information for the dashboard. Over the coming weeks, the department will be working closely with districts to support their reporting and encourage them to update information on a weekly basis. Districts have received instructions for reporting this information to the department and the department will continue to provide technical assistance to districts when needed.
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