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School decisions loom
Bobby cox mug
Director of Schools Bobby Cox

As the COVID-19 virus infiltrates Warren County, decisions will be made this coming Thursday regarding how the pandemic will affect credits needed by seniors to graduate, evaluation requirements and grading.

At the moment, the date to return to the normal schedule of school activities is set to take place on Monday, April 27.

“On Thursday, April 9, the Tennessee Board of Education will determine the future of the state’s school system in regard to grading, credits, evaluations and senior graduation requirements, but closure decisions won’t be made,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox.

Conference calls with the Tennessee State Department of Education are held each Monday, Wednesday and Friday involving school systems throughout the state to provide updates and answer questions.

“Conference calls last approximately 30 minutes to provide needed information and those will continue,” says Cox.

Cox states the Tennessee education commissioner is currently holding a blanket waiver for each day the school system is not in session. The current requirement is for students to attend 180 days of school.

“At this point, every school district in the state will be out of days available to be used for inclement weather,” says Cox. “The state department has never dealt with this type of situation so they have to receive advice given by the U.S. Department of Education.”

All state departments depend on federal guidance on several subjects, including programs for students with disabilities, as well as learning how to operate during this rare pandemic with information from federal authorities being distributed to local school systems.

“It’s obviously a new and ever-changing situation so we are reacting on a day-to-day basis and telling teachers of the information being received,” says Cox.

Many of the questions being asked are about online instruction and making sure students are properly learning the necessary material.

“Online instruction is being provided for each grade level and is being distributed through the individual schools and teachers,” says Cox.

WCHS graduation is still scheduled for May 21 until the Warren County School System is given more information.

“As we grow closer to the expected date of returning to the normal school schedule, we will see how everything is going,” said Cox. “We will act accordingly and decide if graduation and prom dates need to be changed. However, our students will have the opportunity and information needed, regardless of if these events occur on the previously scheduled dates or not.”

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