NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Local school districts are agreeing to comply with the Tennessee Governor Bill Lee's recommendation that all schools in the state remain closed through April 24.
On Thursday, the Hamilton County Schools district announced plans to reopen the following Monday, April 27. Bradley County Schools and Cleveland City Schools have also now announced they will adhere to Governor Lee's recommendation.
Hamilton County Schools spokesperson Tim Hensley said, "Our first concern is for the health and safety of our children and staff in this crisis. We know school closures represent a significant disruption for families, and we will continue to provide resources from meals to academic assignments to do what we can to support parents and students."
Hamilton County Schools says teachers and students will continue virtual learning during this period, except for spring break. Spring break for Hamilton County begins April 3 and runs through April 10.
Bradley County Schools and Cleveland City Schools released the following joint statement Tuesday evening:
"Earlier today in his daily COVID-19 press conference, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued a statement recommending schools remain closed through April 24th. Bradley County and Cleveland City Schools will adhere to this recommendation and schools will remain closed. All school-related activities that were scheduled through this date will be canceled or postponed. Individual schools will make announcements concerning events, as needed.
We are in the midst of extremely trying times and know that our seniors are anxious when thinking about events such as graduation and prom. Please know that both systems are fully committed to ensuring our seniors have a true sense of completion from high school, complete with special senior moments. We are committed to making sure these events take place, even if dates must be moved. Thank you for your continued patience. As the situation continues to evolve, the community will be updated as decisions are made."
Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn released a statement regarding the extension recommendation.
“This is an unprecedented time for our country and state and we thank Governor Lee for his leadership in protecting the health and well-being of Tennessee's students and teachers," Schwinn said. "We know school closures represent a significant disruption for families and students and the recommendation to extend them has not been considered lightly.”
The governor also addressed several other actions during his press briefing Tuesday.
He announced the mobilizing of the National Guard to aid in testing. 250 national guard members will be deployed throughout the state. He says 150 of those are trained in medical field.
Governor Lee, along with the state attorney general, have filed an emergency petition to the Tennessee Public Utility to prohibit disconnecting services during the state of emergency.
For more stories on the COVID-19 pandemic, go here.