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Schools closed
Bill Lee part 423.jpg
Gov. Bill Lee

Following a recommendation from Gov. Bill Lee, the Warren County School System is closed until at least March 31.

“Everything is shut down,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “Every sport, every practice, all extracurricular activities, nothing is to happen before March 31 or until we are cleared to go.”

The extended delay will put Warren County over its allotted number of inclement weather/ illness days. Students are currently on their scheduled Spring Break, but there are seven school days that will be missed between the end of Spring Break and March 31. Because a professional development day can be converted to a bad weather day, Warren County will be six days over the limit.

At this point there’s no guarantee classes will resume April 1.

“We will apply for a waiver for the missed days and the commissioner has said she will use maximum flexibility in granting those waivers,” said Cox referring to Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

The school system is working to distribute food during the shutdown. Cox said final details haven’t been determined but current indications are cafeterias will be open at all schools around lunchtime and a lunch and snack will be available to students.

“With gatherings of 10 or less permissible, we’re looking at bringing in some cafeteria staff from each school,” said Cox. “We’re working on a call for people 18 and under to see how many people want food so we don’t over prepare. The best way of doing that is through the phone system because everyone receives those calls and it’s capable of conducting surveys.”

As far as delivering online curriculum, Cox said details are currently being arranged and he plans to have more information by Thursday.

For people looking ahead to large gatherings like the prom and WCHS graduation, Cox said it’s way too early to think about those occasions.

“We’ve had no discussion about that at all,” said Cox. “We’re not even close to thinking about that.”

In recommending all schools close until March 31, Gov. Lee said isolating people is key to saving lives. 

“We believe the more Tennesseans are reminded of their individual role, the more likely it is that we can slow the spread of this disease,” Lee said. “Peoples’ lives are depending on it. Their livelihoods are depending on it and I encourage Tennesseans to pray for our state.”