5th set of reopening ‘tool kits’ for school systems released

(Tennessee Department of Education) Friday, the Tennessee Department of Education released the 5th set of school reopening tool kits in a series of more than 20 resources and guidance documents to assist districts as they plan for the upcoming school year. 

Friday’s release makes available three classroom example videos along with four more reopening tool kits providing considerations, recommendations, and best practices to help district and school leaders dive deeper as they make local plans for the 2020-21 school year. The department worked closely with the Tennessee Department of Health on guidance for physical health, safety, as well as the sample procedures and classroom videos. 

“Our state and nation are navigating a new frontier for education, and the department is working hard to provide our districts with detailed and practical resources that will equip our leaders to make the best local decisions to meet these challenges,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “As our state moves forward together, I am so grateful for the commitment of each of our districts to Tennessee’s students and how they are making thoughtful local reopening plans to keep our kids as the top priority.” 

The following four tool kits are now available for districts to utilize: 

  • Physical Health: This tool kit is designed to provide an overview of considerations related to school and public health safety and includes guidance for schools from the Tennessee Department of Health.  
  • School ImprovementThis tool kit includes strategies and best practices for supporting Priority and Focus school turnaround throughout the school re-opening process. 
  • Safety & Operations: This tool kit is designed to assist district leaders, SAVE Act Coordinators, and operations leads as they consider the physical safety of students from both security and school building perspectives.   
  • Procedures Guide and sample videos: This document is intended to take the guidance provided in the department’s LEA Guide and reopening tool kits and create sample procedures that schools can follow. Alongside this toolkit, the videos provide visual examples to help district leaders and school administrators think through considerations as they set-up classrooms in preparation for the fall. 

The school reopening example videos are located on the Department’s YouTube channel

The department will update the tool kits after release to reflect district findings and best practices. 

The next round of tool kits will be rolled out Monday, focusing on Continued Learning Plans, Template, and Examples; and an Expanded Planning Tool 

The department released an Overview Guide for LEAs last week, which provides broad considerations and questions for districts as each seeks to make the best local decisions for the upcoming school year. 

The reopening tool kits, along with other guidance documents and resources, are available to schools and districts on the Tennessee Department of Education’s reopening guidance webpage: https://www.tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/update-on-coronavirus/reopening-guidance.html

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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