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Update: Hamilton County Schools sticking with remote learning through Jan. 29th

school hallways by Thomas Barwick via DigitalVision via Getty Images.jpg
(Image: Getty Images)

UPDATE (January 20th, 2021):

Hamilton County school officials have announced that the district will continue remote learning next week, Jan. 25th through Jan. 29th.

On Wednesday, there are almost 3,100 active COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County, according to the Health Department. Hamilton County Schools' Phase Tracker showed on Wednesday a 5-day average of 3,756 active cases (1.2%) in the county, which is above the Phase 1 threshold.

UPDATE (January 12th, 2021):

Hamilton County Schools announced on Tuesday that it's second verse, same as the first for the 2021 school year.

A release says, "Due to the current Phase Tracker level of 1.20% based on local COVID-19 trend data, all schools will continue a remote learning schedule Jan. 19 through Jan. 22."

Schools will be closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

The release continues, "Over the past two days, Hamilton County has averaged more than 400 new cases per day. The COVID-19 numbers in our community dictate our school schedule, and we hope to be able to welcome students back on campus soon. Please do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community including washing your hands, wearing a face covering, keeping distance when possible, and staying home when you are sick."

Staff will continue to work remotely, but can access their schools through administrators if needed.

School-Age Child Care (SACC) will operate a limited number of school sites listed here.

The next update for schools will be next Tuesday. Depend on us to keep you posted.

UPDATE (January 5th, 2021):

Hamilton County students will start the semester on a remote schedule - and the district has now announced all schools will remain virtual through January 15th.

According to a release from Hamilton County Schools, this comes after Hamilton County has averaged nearly 500 new cases per day this week.

Staff will also continue to work remotely next week.

You can see the district's announcement here.

UPDATE (December 30th):

Wednesday afternoon Hamilton County Schools (HCS) announced that due to recent data trends and "the support for a gradual re-entry plan," all schools plan to follow a remote learning schedule next week - from January 6th through January 8th.

HCS says staff will also follow a remote schedule, but they can request access to their school building through their administrators if needed.

It says School-Age Child Care (SACC) will operate a limited number of school sites. You can learn more about that here.

HCS says athletics can resume practices as of Wednesday, Jan. 6th, pending notification from relevant coaching staff and in accordance with Governor Lee’s most recent Executive Order. All other activities, after school programs, and extracurriculars will remain remote/virtual for now.

School officials will announce the plan for the following week, January 11th-15th, next Tuesday.

Depend on us to keep you posted.

PREVIOUSLY:

We're now learning new details about how the spring semester will look for Hamilton County Schools.

This comes after getting feedback from parents, both in virtual meetings and in a survey.

One of the big changes includes a grade banded approach when the district is in Phases 1 or 2.

Several key updates are as follows:

Grades K-12:

  • Every Tuesday, the district will announce the phase for the following week, with that schedule beginning the following Monday, if applicable.
  • There is no longer a 'transition' period between phases on the district's Phase Tracker.
  • During Phase 1, if the active number of COVID-19 cases rises above 3,680 (1.0%), all grade levels will learn remotely.

Grades K-3:

  • During Phase 1, K-3 students will be on a hybrid A/B schedule, with 50% of on-campus learners attending two days per week. Wednesday is a remote learning day.
  • During Phase 2, K-3 students attend four days per week and one day remotely.
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings during Phase 1 and 2, and all K-3 classrooms will use partitions.

Grades 4-12:

Grades 4-12 will follow the same Phase 1 & 2 schedule outlined in the original plan:

  • During Phase 1, Grades 4-12 will learn remotely.
  • During Phase 2, grades 4-12 will follow an A/B schedule, with 50% of on-campus learners attending two days per week, with school flexibility.

District officials says the plan is not "set in stone," but will require modification as they learn more. They also say the plan is not a 'how to' document or a school or child-specific operation manual.

The district plans to share the phase schedule for the start of the spring semester during the last week of December using the latest local COVID-19 data available.

You can see the full list of updates on the district's website here.

You can read the district's full announcement below:

"The first semester of the 2020-2021 school year has been a learning experience for our team as we’ve navigated the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has been an ever-changing situation, and our HCS Reentry Plan was always intended to be a living document that could be updated, if needed, based on the latest information.

After analyzing our data, reviewing the latest research, and reflecting on our experiences, the district distributed a survey to families and staff seeking input on potential changes. More than 16,000 people completed the survey, including over 5,500 employees. In addition, our senior leadership met with more than 2,500 parents, teachers and staff in focus groups, advisory councils, the Reopening Taskforce, staff meetings, a Community Townhall, and the Teacher’s Cabinet to gather input and feedback on the reopening plan for the second semester. District leadership listened to our stakeholders to craft these updates to our plan for Reopening 2.0.

Below you will find an overview of the key updates to the plan for the spring semester. To view a complete list of the revisions, visit www.hcde.org/ReentryPlanUpdate. You can view the revised HCS Reentry & Continuous Learning Plan here.

Finally, you can read a statement from Dr. Charles Woods and Dr. Stephen Adams, who serve on the School Reopening Task Force, about the risk of COVID-19 spread from young children here.

Schedule for Start of Spring Semester

The district will communicate the phase schedule for the start of the spring semester during the last week of December using the latest local COVID-19 data available."

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