Franklin Special School District to make masks optional for summer programming; discuss options for next school year

Masks will be optional during summer programming at Franklin Special School District. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Masks will be optional during summer programming at Franklin Special School District. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Masks will be optional during summer programming at Franklin Special School District. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Students in Franklin Special School District will not be required to wear masks in schools during summer programming on campuses as of June 1.

The move was discussed by the FSSD Board of Education during its meeting May 10.

FSSD Director of Schools David Snowden said masks will still be recommended for students and staff, especially when social distancing is not required, but they will no longer be mandatory.

Temperature screenings will also be discontinued as of June 1, although students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms may be sent to a nurse for evaluation. Assigned seating in classrooms and school buses may also still continue.

The district has yet to make a decision on if students and staff will be required to wear masks during the regular school year, but officials are expected to discuss the matter in the coming weeks.


The possibility of field trips and school events during the school year will be evaluated at a later date, Snowden said.

"We're cautiously optimistic that [with] these mitigation protocols, we may be able to even lessen these restrictions as we get to the beginning of the school year, but it's a little too early to say for certain," Snowden said.

The district will also not continue its virtual learning program, which has been in place since the start of the 2020-21 school year, as the state now requires that districts that wish to offer virtual learning must create a separate online school. Williamson County Schools announced in April it would create two online schools as a result.

"Superintendents have been informed [that] the only way to offer a virtual education is to create a totally separate online school. This decision, as stated prior, continues to be extremely disappointing, especially in light of how successfully the FSSD teaching and learning model worked," Snowden said. "We have continued to advocate for the flexibility to use that model for the 2021-22 school year without success."

Snowden said the district had less than 200 parents who indicated they would want their child to continue online learning; however, the district expects that number will continue to decline.

Students who are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19 would still be able to learn virtually, according to district officials.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the district would make masks optional for the 2021-22 school year. The district has not yet decided if masks will be required for students and staff during the regular school year; however it will remove the mandatory requirement for summer programming.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


MOST RECENT

The Historic Franklin Masonic Hall has been declared a national landmark but faces structural issues. (Courtesy The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County)
Heritage Foundation of Williamson County announces list of 6 historic sites at risk

The foundation has identified several sites in danger of development or deterioration.

Tours will take place throughout downtown Franklin. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Franklin Walking Tours launches; deadline nears for Brentwood's best ash tree contest and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the Franklin and Brentwood areas.

The city of Brentwood will rename a portion of Franklin Road in honor of officer Destin Legieza. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Portion of Franklin Road to be renamed in honor of Brentwood officer Destin Legieza

Leigieza was killed in a head-on collision with an impaired driver in June 2020.

Some trees in downtown Franklin have outgrown their basins. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Franklin BOMA discusses renovating sidewalks in downtown

The project would improve existing sidewalks from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue to remove faded and uneven pavers while providing a wider area of walking space in front of downtown shops.

North Italia offers Italian fare and pizza. (Courtesy North Italia)
North Italia announces opening date for Franklin location

The eatery is expected to open in McEwen Northside in July.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from Williamson County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Active COVID-19 cases in Williamson County drop to 100; 50% of residents have at least 1 vaccine dose

Half of all residents in Williamson County are now partially vaccinated.

Tours will take place throughout downtown Franklin. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Franklin Walking Tours launches with ghost, psychic tours

Tour themes include Downtown Charm, Grim and Ghostly, and Picture Perfect.

The city of Brentwood will accept entries for its ash tree contest through June 15. (Courtesy city of Brentwood)
Deadline approaching for Brentwood's best ash tree contest

The contest is intended to help the city track the destruction made by emerald ash borers.

lunch
Where to get free meals from Williamson County Schools, Franklin Special School District this summer

Students who get meals through schools will be able to receive free meals during the summer from either district.

Buff City Soap opened in Franklin May 6. (Courtesy Buff City Soap)
Five businesses open in Franklin in May; doughnut shop celebrates one year in Brentwood and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Franklin and Brentwood areas.

The Brentwood YMCA announced in early June it has reached an agreement to sell its property in Maryland Farms. (Courtesy Brentwood YMCA)
Brentwood YMCA gives update on sale of Maryland Farms property

The property is expected to change hands in the next two years.