Gov. Lee urges statewide school closures through end of March, Williamson County Schools FSSD to close through at least April 3

Franklin Special School District operates eight schools within the city of Franklin. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Franklin Special School District operates eight schools within the city of Franklin. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)

Franklin Special School District operates eight schools within the city of Franklin. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated, March 16, 1:50 p.m.

Officials with Williamson County Schools have announced campuses throughout the county will close through April 3.

"We know our employees and families have many questions," WCS officials said in a social media post. "We will communicate additional information with our staff later this week. Also, we will continue to communicate with families regarding any additional instructional services that may be provided during the time we are closed."

Updated, March 16, 12 p.m. Gov. Lee urges statewide school closures through end of March, FSSD to close through at least April 3

Officials with Franklin Special School District have announced that schools in the district will be closed through at least April 3. The closure includes before- and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, weekend events and all facility use by outside groups, according to a social media post from FSSD.


Classes are scheduled to reconvene April 6, however Director of Schools David Snowden said in the announcement that date is tentative and will be reevaluated as it gets closer to April.

"We understand that extended school closure will create hardship for many of our families," Snowden said. "Please know that we are doing our very best to make decisions that will help care for all of our students, teachers, staff members, families and community members through this time."

In the coming days, the district will communicate plans to provide grab-and-go breakfast and lunch service for students as well as distribute weekly learning packets for students to continue education at home.

"We are so grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult situation," Snowden said. "We will get through this challenge together. Together, we are #fssdstrong."

Original post, March 16, 11 a.m.: Gov. Lee urges statewide school closures through end of March

Gov. Bill Lee is urging all school districts in Tennessee to close "as soon as practically possible" to prevent the possible spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, according to a statement released March 16. Lee said all schools should be closed by March 20 and remain closed through March 31.

“As the response to COVID-19 evolves, I urge every school district in Tennessee to close as soon as practically possible, with all schools expected to close by Friday, March 20, 2020 at the latest,” Lee said in a statement. “Schools should remain closed through March 31, 2020 to further mitigate the spread of this infectious disease and we will issue further guidance prior to March 31.”

Superintendents and local leadership will have the administration's support to determine dates for closure this week, according to Lee. Ahead of school closures, the Tennessee Department of Education set up a hotline for district leaders open on weekdays from 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at 629-888-5898.

“We thank Governor Lee for encouraging school districts to close through the end of the month in order to protect the health and well-being of Tennessee’s students, teachers, and entire communities across the state,” Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said in a statement. "The Department of Education team has been working overtime to communicate with districts and issue guidance to help them make plans and decisions to ensure a continuation of academic instruction as well as critical meals and other services for students during times of school closure.”

State officials will issue additional guidance regarding future closures prior to March 31, according to Lee.

“We understand the tremendous burden school closure places on families and we will continue to work with both the federal government and school districts to ensure we continue essential supports like meals for students in need," Lee said. "Every Tennessean has a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and I urge Tennesseans to be quick to help neighbors as new needs surface with the closure of schools.”

As of March 16, the Tennessee Department of Health has reported 39 cases of coronavirus in Tennessee, including 17 cases in Davidson County and 14 cases in Williamson County.

Metro Nashville Public Schools, Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District are closed through March 20 for spring break.

For updated information on the virus, visit https://tn.gov/health.

This story is still developing. Check back for updates.

Dylan Aycock - Wendy Sturges



MOST RECENT

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Tennessee. (Community Impact staff)
Tennessee coronavirus cases rise by over 1,900 in 24 hours

In Davidson County, there have been at least 12,935 reported cases. Williamson County has reported 1,670 cases.

Williamson County Schools released a reopening framework plan for students and families on July 9 before school begins in early August, with students given the option to receive on-campus or remote instruction. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Williamson County Schools’ 2020-21 plan plus four other Nashville stories

Here are five recent updates from Greater Nashville on plans for education in the fall, governmental moves toward increased public safety and more.

Williamson County Schools released a reopening framework plan for students and families on July 9 before school begins in early August, with students given the option to receive on-campus or remote instruction. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Williamson County Schools releases plans for optional return to on-campus learning in fall

The district will be in communication with the county health department to determine whether to adjust plans based on the number of active COVID-19 cases in the county.

(Courtesy Pixabay)
Columbia State Community College to offer hybrid of virtual, in-person instruction for fall semester

The college, which has a campus in Franklin, said all lecture courses will be live streamed via Zoom, allowing students and faculty to interact in real time.

The Tennessee State Capitol Commission voted July 9 to remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from the state capitol. (Screenshot via www.tn.gov)
Commission votes to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from Tennessee Capitol, but it will not be moved just yet

The final decision on moving the bust will be made by the Tennessee Historic Commission.

Tennessee coronavirus cases rise by over 1,600 in 24 hours

The daily totals also include 710 cumulative deaths, 3,088 cumulative hospitalizations and an estimated 33,609 recoveries to date.

Census worker
2020 census: Bureau prepares nonresponse follow-up field operations

For individuals who have not responded to the 2020 census, one of about 500,000 census takers will visit the their household between Aug. 11-Oct. 31.

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Tennessee. (Community Impact staff)
Tennessee coronavirus cases rise by over 2,400 in 24 hours, marking the largest single-day increase in cases to date

The daily totals also include 685 cumulative deaths, 3,025 cumulative hospitalizations and an estimated 32,736 recoveries to date.

A new committee has been formed to discuss the possibility of changing the Rebel mascot of Franklin High School and is seeking feedback from the public. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
New committee to explore changing Franklin High mascot

Franklin High School’s mascot was originally the Pioneers, but was changed to the Rebels in 1936.