Updated 11:05 a.m.

Metro Nashville Public Schools board chair Anna Shepherd announced on March 12 that the board has suspended its interview process for the next director of schools until the board can discuss how to move forward with its search.

As a result, the board has canceled the interview with interim Director Adrienne Battle scheduled for March 12. Schools in Metro Nashville will be closed through March 13, two days ahead of spring break, due to ongoing coronavirus concerns, also known as COVID-19.

There will be a special called board meeting at 11 a.m. on March 13 for the board to discuss how to proceed with the director search process and “whether to appoint a permanent director now.”

“We started the director search process in a much different environment here at MNPS and across the country,” Shepherd said in a news release. “We need to remove distractions from Dr. Battle’s plate so she can focus on the needs of our students and staff, and as a Board, we need to thoughtfully consider whether the director search process is appropriate or necessary at this time.”

As of March 11, The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed nine total cases of coronavirus including two in Davidson County. There have been no identified cases among MNPS students, parents or staff members, according to the district.

Original post, 11:03 a.m.: Metro Nashville Public Schools approves new timeline for director of schools search

As part of its search for a new director of schools, Metro Nashville Public School officials announced March 10 a new timeline following canceled interviews last week.

Interviews with five candidates were originally scheduled for March 2-6; however, following a tornado strike in the Middle Tennessee region March 3, several were rescheduled.

Interviews with four candidates were rescheduled for March 12 with interim Director of Schools Adrienne Battle; March 26 with Roderick Richmond, the executive director of student support services for Shelby County Schools in the Memphis area; March 31 with Brenda Elliott, the chief of school improvement and supports and chief of equity for DC Public Schools in Washington, D.C.; and April 2 with Brian Kingsley, the chief academic officer for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina.

An interview with the fifth candidate, Shelley Redinger, the superintendent of Spokane Public Schools in Washington state, was held as scheduled on March 2.

The meetings and interviews will be open to the public, but there will not be public participation, according to MNPS.

The board has also moved its deadline to select a finalist from March 24 to April 14. The board will make an offer to a candidate no later than April 20, according to the district.