The Williamson County board of education voted to endorse the framework plan for the 2020-21 Williamson County School year at its July 13 meeting in an 11-1 vote.
The framework plan gives students and parents the option to receive on-campus or online learning, with a minimum semester-long commitment to whichever they choose.
“We know that parents are the ultimate decision-makers for their child, and we want to respect that,” Superintendent Jason Golden said. “At the same time ... it’s important to us that we set up an environment and do the best we can to educate them as best as we can,”
Golden said the purpose of the plan was to try and provide the most daily instruction from teachers to students while trying to combat the spread of the coronavirus, and that the state required the district to provide full school days to students whether they learned remotely or on-campus.
The plan also includes metrics that will affect protocol and operations of schools based on the number of active COVID-19 cases in the county, with different plans for low, medium and high amounts of spread.
If active coronavirus cases in areas of the county increase, certain schools could switch back from on-campus instruction to remote instruction while not necessarily changing plans for the entire school district, according to the framework.
Golden said WCS will still be implementing safety measures to guard against the spread of the coronavirus even though students will be able to return to school campuses in the fall, and school staff will reach out to families to ask whether they prefer their children return to on-campus learning or remote learning.
Golden said students, staff and visitors must wear masks while on campus as a part of the new plan approved by the board due to the recommendation from the county health department. Golden added that students and staff should not attend school if sick.
“I’ve made it clear to our staff that all those notices that went out these last few years about chronic absenteeism—we’re not doing those this year. We know this is an unusual time, and we’re going to be very respectful of families who have to be quarantined and can’t come [to school],” Golden said. “We’re all in this together, and it’s okay to miss a day.”
The district will hold a Facebook live event July 14 to go over the plan in more detail. Parents and students can find the event here.
The full framework plan from WCS can be read here.