Carter County Schools extend remote learning

Published 3:36 pm Friday, November 13, 2020

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Carter County Schools announced their decision to extend remote learning on Thursday. 
Remote learning will continue through the week of Nov. 16-20. 
“We still have a number of adults out, and cases are rising,” said Tracy McAbee, director of schools. “I don’t think it’s logical for me to bring everyone back when we are having large spikes in cases.”
McAbee explained that the number of adult cases is impacting both teaching staff and bus drivers. Not all cases are positive, but rather those in quarantine as well. This, along with a substitute shortage, have added to issues regarding staff availability in schools. 
McAbee meets with the Health Department weekly. He said while they do not tell him what to do in terms of decisions, they do help guide him. The latest information presented this week supported the decision to extend virtual learning. 
“The data was just laid out,” he said. 
In this data, children, including those 0-10 years of age, had an uptick in cases as well as community spread cases. In terms of children, McAbee explained that this is a multilayered issue, such as the possibility of children infecting their parents and guardians (grandparents, etc. in many cases).
McAbee went on to say the hope is that cases will go down after virtual learning next week and Thanksgiving break the week after, however there is still no way to know for sure. 
“I don’t know if that’s going to give people time to get away from each other and things die down, or if it’s going to be such that everybody gets together and gets even more sick,” he explained. “So, I don’t know. I’m hoping the former comes to pass.”
The decision on learning style after this has yet to be decided, as things change with the virus. 
McAbee said that while he knows this is a hard time for parents, students and teachers, he encourages students (and parents) to continue completing work and attending class online during this time, as well as checking in when there are issues. 
During this remote learning period, meals will be delivered by the school system on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with two days worth of meals. Meal pickup will also be available on these days from 11 a.m. to noon at the following locations: 
Cloudland Elementary 
Hampton Elementary 
Little Milligan 
Happy Valley Elementary 
Hunter Elementary 
For the latest updates to Carter County Schools, go to, check out their Facebook page or call 423-547-4000.

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