The Cumberland County Board of Education could decide in a special meeting tonight (Monday, July 6, 2020) if school will start school on time with the growing number of COVID-19 cases. A work session to discuss options will start at 4 p.m. followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. Tennessee currently has a state of emergency in place until August 29 that also discourages any gatherings of 50 or more individuals. Students in Cumberland County currently have a short day scheduled on August 5, 2020 and their first full day is currently scheduled for August 7, 2020.
The meeting will be streamed live on the “Cumberland County Schools, Crossville, TN” Facebook page. Citizens are encouraged to watch the meeting live on the Facebook page since public gatherings of 50 or more are discouraged at this time.
One option at least one school board member is considering to propose to the board is delaying the start of school until after the Labor Day holiday. This not only would put it outside of the state of emergency set to expire August 29, 2020 but would also open schools after the 127 Yard Sale is held.
Another option is to open as scheduled but this option appears to be unlikely now given the increasing number of active COVID-19 cases in Cumberland County plus the state of emergency in place.
A third option is to open with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines in place. It would be a lengthy list to follow including spacing student desks 6′ apart from each other. Other guidelines from the CDC include:
- no student sharing of items or supplies
- Clean and disinfect frequently
- One child per seat on school buses and skip rows between riders (This would be a very hard task for the school system)
- tape on sidewalks and walls to ensure kids stay 6 feet apart
- only pre-packaged boxes or bags of food instead of hot lunch lines.
- no switching groups or teachers
- stagger student arrival and departure times to limit crowds of kids
- limit volunteers and visitors to schools
- perform daily health and temperature checks
There could be other options for the school board to explore but a decision on opening schools in Cumberland County will come tonight following the work session.