With its first week of the school year behind them, both students and teachers continue to move through the second week, operating in unique circumstances of a continuing pandemic.
With more than 30,000 computers deployed to students, about 24,000 were new to the student population due to the educational needs that faced the district with COVID-19.
Students, meeting both in a virtual setting and also in a traditional, in-person model, in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, were supplied laptops to accomplish their educational goals for the year.
Director of Schools Millard House indicated the virtual school program shows about 15,400 students enrolled. Nearly 20,500 students are attending in-person.
The faculty, staff and administrators have worked to prepare for the beginning of the unprecedented school year, according to House.
“Although so many things are different, one thing remains the same – we are excited to get back to teaching,” House said. “The district is continuing to solve the technological challenges we are facing with CMCSS K-12 virtual, and we continue to thank families for their patience and grace. We are realigning resources, developing new processes and reaching out to other agencies for support to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.”
COVID-19 cases surface
Once school began, the district had six positive cases that required further action. As of Tuesday, all of the cases were at elementary and middle schools.
The district and Montgomery County Health Department follow the protocols of the Tennessee Department of Health to conduct contact tracing and communicate with stakeholders.
Only the Montgomery County Health Department can quarantine students, according to Anthony Johnson, communications chief for the district.
After a positive case is confirmed and communicated to the school or district by the local health department or a parent or guardian with physical evidence, the district’s safety and health department guides a school in developing a list of close contacts to the confirmed positive.
A close contact is defined as any person who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to positive specimen collection until the time the patient is isolated.
The list is provided to the county’s health department, so it can conduct contact tracing and advise CMCSS on next steps, including any necessary classroom or school-wide closures.
New school board member welcomed
At the Sept. 1 school board study session, House expressed a warm welcome to newly inducted board member Kent Griffy, who attended his first meeting following the Aug. 6 election.
House and board members, including Jimmie Garland, welcomed Griffy back to the board.
“He was the chairman of the board when I was first introduced to the board,” Garland said. “He’s very knowledgeable and will be an asset. So, we would like to welcome you back home to CMCSS. We hope you’ll enjoy your trip.”
Special session addresses new middle school
With a bang of the gavel, the study session closed and a special session of the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System’s Board of Education began.
The board approved a resolution to fund the architectural fees for the yet-to-be-named middle school to be built on Rossview Road, east of I-24.
The resolution noted a student enrollment, combined with all middle schools, is at a capacity level of 104%, with 119 portable classrooms in use across the district.
The district hopes to open the doors to the school in August 2022.
CMCSS Schools Traditional Virtual
Elementary level: 59% 41%
Middle schools: 53% 47%
High schools: 59% 41%