Since the active case COVID-19 case count in Coffee County reached the .5% threshold, Tullahoma City Schools officials announced the school system would fully transition to the hybrid model by Monday, Aug. 17.

The Friday, Aug. 7 report on COVID-19 infections in the state listed Coffee County with 285 active cases out of a total 507.

In the pathway to re-entry plan published by all three school systems in Coffee County, an active case count of .5%, or roughly 282 cases, would put the district into a "moderate spread" stage that would trigger a switch from traditional learning to a hybrid model that includes both in-person/at school education and remote/distance learning.

Recently, as active cases experienced a steep spike, communication about what the hybrid model looks like for TCS was sent out to parents in order to prepare them for the possibility that the hybrid stage would be reached quicker than anticipated.

The time for that transition has come, according to officials, though it will not be immediate.

TCS officials said in a statement this afternoon they would continue to monitor the case count, and students would continue to operate on the traditional model through next Tuesday, Aug. 11.

"Unless there is a change in the trend of increasing active cases, Tullahoma City Schools is announcing a move to its hybrid schedule on Monday, August 17," the district stated.

In order to facilitate that transition, there will be no school for TCS students Wednesday, Aug. 12 through Friday, Aug. 14, the district added. This will give all teachers time to prepare for the transition in their teaching methods.

The district will be contacting parents with more information, but cautioned that once the transition took place, the system would remain on the hybrid schedule for "an extended period of time."

"We will continue to evaluate active case trends to determine when and if change appropriate within our pathway to re-entry," the statement from the district read. "Ongoing communication will continue through School Messenger, email, the district website and social media platforms. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we repond to the fluid nature of COVID-19."

According to the Hybrid Communication Plan from the district, elementary school students would still attend traditional classes in person at their physical school buildings, though on staggered days. Middle and high school students would be fully in distance learning.

The plan states only students in third, fourth and fifth grades would be in school buildings on Mondays; students in Pre-K through second grade, as well as students in sixth through 12th grade would be distance learning.

Tuesday through Friday would see all Pre-K through second grade students inside physical classrooms; students third grade and up would be distance learning. The plan is available here:

The full statement from the district is below:

Today the active case count in Coffee Coffee reached 285 which puts us at the 0.50% or the moderate spread category.  While the number is just at the moderate spread level, schools will remain on regular schedule through Tuesday, August 11 to monitor the case count. Unless there is a change in the trend of increasing active cases, Tullahoma City Schools is announcing a move to its hybrid schedule on Monday, August 17.  There will be no school for students Wednesday, August 12 through Friday, August, 14, as teachers prepare for this transition. School staff will be contacting parents with more information. Please be aware that once a change is made the school district will remain on the hybrid schedule for an extended period of time. We will continue to evaluate active case trends to determine when and if change is appropriate within our pathway to re-entry. Ongoing communication will continue through School Messenger, email, the district website, and social media platforms. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we respond to the fluid nature of COVID-19.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.

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