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Elizabethton City Schools release update… Students will utilize a hybrid plan for grades K-12 following initial week

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com  
While the first week of students return to the Elizabethton City Schools will remain the same, Elizabethton Director of Schools Richard Van Huss released an update to how the students will be functioning as least from Monday, August 17th to Friday, August 28th.
 
The change comes as daily and weekly changes occur with the COVID-19 virus which continues to play havoc within Carter County and the surrounding counties.
 
Details of the plan are as follows:
– Students with last names beginning with letters A – L will attend traditional, in-person instruction on Monday and Tuesday. These students will participate in remote learning on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
– Students with last names beginning with the letters M – Z will participate in remote learning on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. These students will attend traditional, in-person instruction every Thursday, and Friday.
– This schedule will be in effect from Monday, August 17th, through Friday, August 28th. We will continue to monitor the situation and will adjust the schedule as appropriate.
– The traditional, in-person days will be full days of instruction.
– Buses will run on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday each week.
– Students who live in the same household will be allowed to attend traditional, in-person instruction on the same days, regardless of their last names. Please contact your child’s school for arrangements.
– Parents of PreK and Kindergarten students will be contacted for details regarding their schedule for these weeks.
– Face coverings/masks are required for students and staff while at school/work unless medically exempt.
– This plan will not affect students who chose the distance learning track.
Van Huss said that the plan is essential for the safety of students and staff.
“Given our current situation, this plan provides us with the best opportunity to keep our students and staff members safe, while providing a quality educational experience,” Van Huss said. “We understand this plan will create some hardships for families.
“It is far from perfect, but we believe the hybrid model gives us the best opportunity to safely provide instruction.”
According to Van Huss, the plan will help the school system to achieve four key points.
It will help to keep class sizes low allowing for proper social distancing as well as minimizing the number of students in common areas such as the lunchroom and hallways.
The plan will also help to implement social distancing on school buses and allow each school time to deep clean on Wednesdays.
Van Huss emphasized that the importance of in-person instruction is paramount for students to be effectively taught.

“As a district, we believe that in-person instruction is the most effective method of teaching for the vast majority of students,” the director said. “The relationships and connections teachers and students make in the classroom are invaluable.

“We are committed to providing our students with a traditional educational experience as long as it is safe to do so. As infection rates lower, we will transition back to a traditional schedule.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plan as necessary.”

Van Huss added that if parents have any questions that they should feel free to reach out to their child’s school for more information.