As July speeds past, Tullahoma City Schools has released guidance for the return of in-person instruction for the coming school year.

Tullahoma students return to the classroom in two weeks, Monday, Aug. 2. This includes all students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Director of Schools Catherine Stephens acknowledged all teachers, staff, students and community members for making the last school year as successful as it was despite the challenge of facing a global health crisis.

“Even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we experienced a successful 2020-2021 school year thanks to our teachers, staff, students and families,” she said. “We responded appropriately to the challenges of COVID-19 and made it through a most unusual year. We appreciate all of the efforts put in place to ensure that we maintained a safe, healthy, positive and productive learning environment.”

As the new school year comes closer, school administration announced the district will be referring to the updated guidance for school operations from the CDC in regard to COVID-19.

Per the guidance announcement, masks are encouraged to be worn inside school buildings for all students, teachers and staff members who are not fully vaccinated. Generally, when outdoors, the guidance says, masks are not necessary.

The district will continue enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols in high-traffic areas, as well as the facilities overall and the district’s bus fleet. The system will also follow CDC recommendations to maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance when feasible.

Students, teachers and staff are recommended to continue to practice proper soap and water handwashing routinely throughout the day or to use hand sanitizer when handwashing is not feasible.

Visitors to the district campuses will be welcomed, though on a limited basis in order to reduce possible transmission of COVID-19 or its variants, based on school and classroom capabilities at the discretion of school-level administration.

One protocol not continuing in the coming school year is daily temperature checks for students, employees and guests of Tullahoma City Schools, as data from the previous year did not indicate this was a beneficial practice for TCS.

As always, school administration said, the district encourages any student, teacher or staff member to stay home from work or school if they feel sick. Additionally, the district encourages the use of outdoor classrooms and space for learning, exercise and socialization.

The guidance may be altered depending on local transmission rates or from updated recommendations from the CDC, school officials said.

Managing Editor

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

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