reopening plans for 2020-2021

School Reminders

To:  Hardin County School Community
From:  Michael Davis, Director of Schools
Date:  September 4, 2020
RE:  School Reminders

First, I would like to thank all our students, parents, teachers, staff, and administrators for working so hard our first five weeks of school. This school year has presented many new challenges we have never had to face before but I am very proud of the cooperation and willingness to work together by all parties for the best of our students. Because of these trying times, both our parents and teachers are having to do more than ever before, and for these extra efforts we are very grateful. We will get through this and I encourage everyone to always remember the importance of working together and communicating with one another. The following are some reminders before we begin week six of school:

  • Monday is a holiday (Labor day) and all schools and the Central Office will be closed
  • Because Monday is a holiday (Labor day), no food will be distributed on Monday but rather food will be distributed at all schools on Tuesday from 10:00 – 11:30
  • Group 2 students will attend next Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday (Group 1 students will do all their school work from home)
  • The group rotation will continue for the Hybrid schedule from week to week until further notice but we certainly understand the importance of our students being in school every day and assure everyone we will resume our traditional schedule as soon as we can
  • Parent-Teacher conferences for each school be will on Monday, September 14 from 1:00 -6:30. Each school will be sending out more information about this very soon if they have not already
  • Fall break is still scheduled for the entire week of October 5 – 9

Thank you again to everyone for all the work you are doing to support and move our children forward through these challenging times. Even though these are very stressful times for everyone, at the end of the day, we can remember it’s all for our children and it makes it all worthwhile.

I hope all families have a great holiday weekend and enjoy spending time together. For those traveling, please be safe and hope your trip goes well.

As always, feel free to contact me anytime with your questions and/or concerns.

Reminder on Hybrid Schedule & Additional Information

To:  Hardin County School Community
From:  Michael Davis, Director of Schools
Date:  August 28, 2020
RE:  Reminder on Hybrid Schedule & Additional Information

As we prepare to begin our Hybrid schedule next week, I wanted to provide some reminders for everyone and some additional information. Before doing that though, let me take this opportunity to thank all parents and the other caregivers that are working so hard to help your children in so many ways during these challenging times. With COVID numbers continuing to rise among our students and staff within our school system, the decision was made to implement our Hybrid schedule. We certainly understand the hardship it causes on parents when decisions have to be made to modify our normal school schedule or even cancel school but assure you we will always put safety first when making these decisions. Please note the following information as we begin our Hybrid schedule next week:

  • The Hybrid schedule is only for the students that currently attend school. If your child has chosen the distance learning option, there is no change for them.
  • Students that currently attend school have now been assigned a group number – either Group 1 or Group 2. All parents should have received their child’s group assignment this past Monday. If you do not know your child’s group number, please contact their school Monday to find out.
  • For our Hybrid schedule, students will only attend on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday of their designated week. No students will attend school on a Monday or Friday but rather do their school work from home.
  • Group 1 students will attend this Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday (September 1,2, & 3)
  • Group 2 students will attend September 8, 9, & 10 (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday)
  • We will continue this weekly rotation of the two groups until further notice
  • Beginning this Monday, any students that are currently doing paper packets, those parents will now begin picking their child’s work up at their zoned school each Monday between the hours of 10am – Noon. Any questions on this, please contact your child’s school.
  • For Group 2 students that are getting paper packets, because these students do not attend school next week, parents will need to pick their work packets up at their child’s zoned school on Monday between the hours of 10am-Noon. For group 2 students that do have a device/internet, you will do your work on google classroom. All students should now have their google classroom account information. If your child does not have their account information or if they were to have trouble accessing their account, please feel free to contact their school.
  • Moving forward, any adjustments concerning your child’s academic work (having to do with online or paper packets) will be made and communicated from their zoned school. If at any time you have questions, please contact your child’s school.

School Nutrition Information:

  • All students within our school system may still receive meals at no cost since our school system is an all Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) district
  • Meals can be pre-ordered and parents can pick them up Monday of each week anytime from 10am – 11:30am, for the days that they will not be attending school. (If a Monday was to be a holiday, meals would be distributed the following Tuesday between the same hours).
  • The link to complete the meal survey to register for meals will be posted on our Hardin County Schools’ website (hardincoschools.com) and on the Hardin County School’s Facebook page by noon on Monday of each week. Meals must be pre-ordered by Wednesday at midnight.
  • Parents may also call Cheryl Cochran or Kristen Tomlinson at the Hardin County Board of Education at 925-3943 to register for meals
  • Any parents who cannot pick-up meals during the designated time on Mondays may contact the school’s cafeteria manager where they want to pick-up the meals or contact Cheryl Cochran at 925-3943 to work out a plan for picking up their child’s meals.

As we all continue to navigate through these difficult and challenging times, let me take another opportunity to thank each one of you for your understanding and cooperation. I have had the opportunity to meet with every school this week and thank our teachers and staff for all the hard work they have done our first three weeks of school. From our meetings this week, we also want to thank each of you for the extra work and support you are doing because it will make a difference by us all working together. As always, feel free to contact me anytime with questions and/or concerns.

INFORMATION REGARDING HYBRID SCHEDULE FOR HARDIN COUNTY SCHOOLS

To:  Hardin County School Community
From:  Michael Davis, Director of Schools
Date:  August 20, 2020
RE:  Information on Hybrid Schedule for Hardin County Schools

As we near the end of week three of our new school year, we continue to face many challenges in order to have school. Our administrators, teachers, and staff are working extremely hard and I ask that you continue to be patient, supportive, and know we all truly care about your child. We continue to monitor daily the number of confirmed cases among our students and staff. As we near the end of the third week of school, the number of confirmed COVID cases among our students and now our staff has continued to increase.

Because of this information, the decision has been made now to begin the process of implementing the Hybrid schedule created for our school system. By implementing the Hybrid schedule, this will lower the number of those students currently attending by 50% and will hopefully allow us to continue providing students the opportunity to be with their teacher(s) in class. Students at each school will either be assigned to “Group 1” or “Group 2” and our administrators have done their best to make sure siblings are in the same group, so they would be able to attend the same days. A notification of which Group your child has been assigned will be sent home with your child on Monday, so please be looking for that information.  For the Hybrid schedule, students will actually attend school every other week, depending on if they are in “Group 1” or “Group 2” and only attend on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. No students will attend on Mondays or Fridays, but rather do their work from home. Students are expected to do school work at home on those two days and teachers will be using those two days for instruction, planning, and providing feedback to their students.  

In moving to this type schedule, it will require a short transition time for all schools and that will begin next week. The following is specific information concerning our Hybrid schedule:

  • The Hybrid schedule is only for the students that currently attend school. If your child has chosen the distance learning option already, there is no change for them
  • Transition week to the Hybrid schedule will be next week. Below is the schedule for this one week of transition:
  • August 24 (Monday) – students will attend school as normal
  • August 25 – 28 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday) – Students do not attend school but rather do their school work from home these four days.
  • Hybrid schedule information:
  • Group 1 attends September 1, 2, & 3 (only Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday)
  • Group 2 attends September 8, 9, & 10 (only Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday)
  • We would continue this weekly rotation of the groups attending Tuesday – Thursdays until further notice
  • Each day that a student does not physically attend school, they will be learning from home virtually.

I know this is a lot of information so please feel free to contact me with questions as we move forward. We are all going through unprecedented times and please know this school system has a very dedicated staff that will continue to work hard and always keep the best interest of your child in mind. We will get through this by continuing to work together.

To:  Hardin County School Community
From:  Michael Davis, Director of Schools
Date:  July 15, 2020
RE:  Additional Information on Reopening Plan for Schools

Last night we held our first parent informational meeting at Northside Elementary School for all parents that have children in grades K-5 that are considering the distance learning option. We had approximately 75 people attend and many great questions were asked at our meeting. I wanted to share some information with you now from last night’s meeting:

  • This Friday (July 17) at 4pm is the deadline to register your child for the distance learning option. There is a lot of scheduling and planning that will be required and we will begin this work immediately once the deadline has expired.
  • Please note that if a parent would like to start their child on the traditional schedule plan (actually sending them to school), you can always decide at any time later in the semester to change your child over to the distance learning option. Keep in mind though, once you decide for your child to do the distance learning option, it will have to be for a minimum of a semester. All parents that children decide to do the distance learning option will have the opportunity to change to a traditional schedule on January 5 (2nd semester) or you may continue with distance learning for the 2nd Our first semester is from August 3 – December 18 and our second semester is from January 5 – May 21.
  • If you have registered your child for distance learning and have changed your mind and would rather send them to school, please notify our office at 925-3943 as soon as possible so we can secure your child a traditional schedule for attending school.
  • Both the students that do the traditional schedule and distance learning will follow our approved school calendar for the upcoming school year. This is important because distance learning students would need to have the same holidays and time off as our teachers. You can find a copy of our 2020/2021 school calendar on our website.
  • There were many questions asked last night about what our school system’s procedure will be if we were to have a student in school that tests positive for COVID. Currently, we do not have our final procedures completed because there is a phone conference today with the regional health office out of Jackson that will be sharing guidelines and information to all school systems that will help us better create these protocols. Once we have our system’s protocols in place for issues like that, we will certainly provide that information and it should be soon.
  • Our parent meeting last night was recorded and if all goes well, we should have this video posted on our District’s website and District’s Facebook page sometime today.
  • As I shared last night with parents, reminder that distance learning is new to our school system, just like most rural school systems, and key ingredients to make this be successful for every child will be for everyone to cooperate, have plenty of patience, and never forget the importance of working together for the best of every child!

Reminder that we have another parent meeting on Thursday night of this week for all parents that will have children in grades 6-12. This meeting will take place in the cafeteria at the Hardin County Middle School and begin at 6:30 pm. Our plans are to record this meeting as well and will post it on our District’s website and Facebook page the very next day for any parents that are unable to attend and would like to view.

Finally, I want to apologize for the technical issues on the automated call that I sent our Monday night. I have no idea what caused the static that many of you said you heard that prevented many of you from hearing the entire message. There were two parts to the message I sent on Monday, one was a reminder on the two parent meetings this week that I’ve already discussed in this update.

The other information I shared on Monday’s call was about a free backpack and school supply giveaway being provided by the Amazing Life Church again this year!! This year it will be a drive through giveaway and it is being held this Saturday (July 18) beginning at 8am and will go until supplies last. Children must be present in the car as you drive through. The Amazing Life Church is located on 65 Thomas Street here in Savannah. We certainly appreciate their continued support of our children and families as they help prepare them for school each year. 

To:  Hardin County School Community
From:  Michael Davis, Director of Schools
Date:  July 6, 2020
RE:  Additional Information on Reopening Plan for Schools

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable July 4th holiday weekend and enjoyed time with your family and friends. As mentioned in last week’s announcement, our plans are to open all Hardin County Schools on time beginning August 3. We are, however, offering an alternate plan for parents that may have reservations on sending their child back to school, and we will be providing a distance learning option that would allow their children to stay home. Below is more specific information on our traditional schedule option and our distance learning option:

Traditional Schedule Option:

  • Students would attend school on this option – the first week of school (August 3-7) attendance will be modified to allow for students/teachers to meet, discuss and practice new safety measures that will be in place, and allow adequate time to answer questions that students may have in returning to school. The schedule for the first week is:

August 3 (Monday) – only grades 5, 8, and 12 will attend
August 4 (Tuesday) – only grades 4, 7, and 11 will attend
August 5 (Wednesday) – only grades 3, 7, and 10 will attend
August 6 (Thursday) – only grades 2, 6, and 9 will attend
August 7 (Friday) – only grades 1, 6, and 9 will attend
August 10 – Grades 1-12 attend
(The Kindergarten and Pre-K schedule will be provided separately)

  • For grades K-5, the academic focus will be on math and reading for the first nine weeks, but will also include science and social studies – our focus will be to close any academic gaps.
  • Students will have PE class and related arts classes daily, but with safety measures in place.
  • In the past students in grades 3-8 have changed classrooms throughout the day, but for now, they will remain in the same classroom for academic subjects and teachers will change rooms (Hardin County High School students will have to change classes each day).
  • Students will use the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch – additional lunch blocks may have to be added in order to lower the numbers present in the cafeteria at one time.
  • Each teacher will have a “no touch” thermometer in their classroom and every school will continue to have a Registered Nurse as part of their staff.
  • Masks will be recommended but not required.
  • Teachers will do their best to have all of their students facing the same direction in class.

Distance Learning Option

  • Students will not attend school on this option and all school work will be done offsite.

For parents that do not have a device now, their students will have to be given packets of work, but this too will include instruction from a certified teacher. Our school district has ordered new devices for all students in grades 3-12, but due to lack of availability, we do not expect them to arrive until December. This being the case, these devices would be issued to our students as early as January 2021 (start of the second semester).

  • Registration is currently underway for the distance learning option and parents can register by the following ways: hardincoschools.com, our District’s Facebook page, or a paper copy of the registration form is available at the Hardin County Board of Education. Reminder that the distance learning option, if chosen by a parent, would be for a minimum of a semester, but parents would have the opportunity for their child to attend school at the beginning of the second semester (January 5). In order to help our school system plan for this option, please complete the registration form by the end of the day this Friday. Final deadline to apply for the distance learning option is Friday, July 17.
  • Our school district will host two parent meetings in connection with our distance learning option. These meetings will allow more discussion and provide an opportunity for parents to ask specific questions. In the meantime, feel free to contact me.

Parents that will have children in grades Kindergarten – 5th grade – your meeting will be held in the gymnasium at Northside Elementary school on Tuesday, July 14 beginning at 6:30 pm.

Parents that will have children in grades 6 – 12 – your meeting will be held in the gymnasium at Hardin County Middle School on Thursday, July 16 beginning at 6:30 pm.

Note:  These meetings are not required for your child to participate in our distance learning option.

  • For our distance learning option, students will have access to Tennessee State standards, access to high quality instructional materials, and weekly access to certified teachers. A child’s attendance (participation) and grades will be recorded. Instructional delivery will be either by digital or by the phone and students will be expected to have a 6 ½ hour instructional day just like students that attend school. Keep in mind on this option, interaction with a teacher will be limited each week and will require a more concentrated effort on the parent’s part to help track daily attendance, monitor assignments. Parent’s partnership and cooperation with the school system will be key to ensure your child’s academic success.
  • Students will be eligible for all extra-curricular activities as long as they meet all the attendance and academic requirements. This includes elementary, middle, and high school students.

We will continue to provide updates and announcements on a regular basis but in the meantime,

please feel free to contact our office anytime with questions and/or concerns. We appreciate our parents and look forward to working with you for a successful school year!

To:  Hardin County School Community
From:  Michael Davis, Director of Schools
Date:  June 30, 2020
RE:  Information on 2020-2021 School Year

I first want to congratulate the HCHS graduating class of 2020 and let them know how proud we are of them. We recently held our Baccalaureate and Graduation ceremonies for them and both were wonderful nights. On behalf of the Hardin County School Board and our entire school system, I wish each of them the very best always and look forward to seeing the great things they will do.

It is my understanding, as of this morning, that Governor Lee’s order yesterday does not prohibit school systems from opening on time. We have been meeting on a regular basis throughout the summer to create our school system’s plan to reopen. This pandemic has caused many setbacks for so many people and it has certainly created many challenges for school Districts within our state and country. I think most would agree that there’s nothing more important than a child’s education and there’s no better way to learn than for students to be at school with their teacher. From the recent survey that was done by our school system, the majority of responses we received preferred a traditional schedule to open schools. I want to assure everyone that we will always consider the safety and wellbeing of our students and teachers as we make decisions. Please note the following information concerning the upcoming school year:

  • Reopen Plan – Our plan is to reopen schools as scheduled on Monday, August 3. We will be on a modified schedule the first week (August 3-7) in order to allow extra time for our students to meet with their teachers, discuss the safety measures that will be in place, and answer any questions the students may have for a successful return. The following is the schedule for our first week:

August 3 (Monday) – only grades 5, 8, and 12 will attend
August 4 (Tuesday) – only grades 4, 7, and 11 will attend
August 5 (Wednesday) – only grades 3, 7, and 10 will attend
August 6 (Thursday) – only grades 2, 6, and 9 will attend
August 7 (Friday) – only grades 1, 6, and 9 will attend
August 10 – Grades 1-12 attend
(The Kindergarten and Pre-K schedule will be provided separately)

  • Distance Learning Option – We certainly understand that we may have some parents that might have concerns on sending their child to school. That being the case, the Hardin County School System will be offering a distance learning option. This option is available for all Hardin County residents and there will be no fees associated with this program. Parents who have elected in the past to home school their children are welcome to participate in this new option, but they will need to register their child in our school system first. In order to plan, we must ask parents to complete the registration form on the distance learning option now and you can do that online at our District website at hardincoschools.com or the Hardin County School’s Facebook page. If you would prefer filling out a paper copy, they are available at the Board of Education office. Distance Learning registration forms must be completed by July 10. Please understand that the distance learning option registration is for a minimum of one full semester. Parents will have the opportunity to make a change for their child to attend school if they wish during the semester break. Also, our school system has ordered new laptops for all students in grades 3-12, but we have been advised it will be late November before they arrive. That being the case, any student that plans to go with the distance learning option will need their own device until our new ones can be distributed.
  • Extra-Curricular Activities – Regardless if you attend school or choose the distance learning option, all students will be eligible for all extra-curricular activities. Students would be eligible if they meet all attendance and academic requirements. This would include all elementary, middle, and high school students.
  • Special Education Services – It will be our plan to provide services at the beginning of the school year as dictated by the child’s IEP. We assure parents that we will work with them and provide the level of support that is appropriate.
  • Food Service – Our school system continues to participate in the CEP (Community Eligibility Program) where every student enrolled in our school system has a free breakfast and lunch. We will be required to make a number of changes to our current food service program in order to comply with health recommendations so that all food can be served in a safe manner.
  • Transportation – Our plan is to provide transportation as normal. All buses will be disinfected after each route. Parents will be able to make the decision if they would like their child to ride the bus, bring their child to school, or have their child participate in the distance learning option.
  • Health & Safety – We will be taking extra precautions to keep our buildings safe and clean. We will work with all students on maintaining good health practices, create social distancing as much as possible, and provide multiple opportunities to wash hands throughout the day. We would ask that all parents check their child’s temperature each morning prior to leaving for school. If your child’s temperature is 100 degrees or higher, then please keep them at home and notify the school concerning your child’s absence.
  • Registration for Traditional Schedule Option – For any new student that plans to attend our school system, registration day is scheduled for Monday, July 27. Parents would need to go to their child’s zoned school in order to register. If you were to have questions on zoning, please contact the Board of Education Office at 925-3943.
  • Pre-K and Kindergarten Schedules – More information will be coming soon about our schedule for Pre-K. Here is schedule for Kindergarten: July 27 – registration day/parents pick-up testing schedule;

August 3-6 will be Kindergarten Screenings; August 7 – Student Placement/Preparation;

August 10 – boys attend; August 11 – girls attend; August 12 – boys attend; August 13 – girls attend;

August 14 – all K students attend

It has truly been a challenging time for all over the last four months. Please know that the best interest of all children drives every decision that is made by the administration. We truly understand the hardship it causes on so many parents when our schools are closed and we are always mindful of that in our decision making. Please keep in mind that this plan is subject to change on any given day as we continue to receive guidance from the state and health officials. Everyone can expect more specific information or announcement of any changes throughout July.

Now more than ever, school systems and parents will need to work together, support one another, and cooperate in order to create the best opportunities for success for our children. Never forget, my door is always open if you would like to meet and discuss concerns or feel free to contact me any time at 925-3943. I can also be reached by email at michael.davis@hctnschools.com. It is truly a privilege and an honor to serve as your Director of Schools.

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