Sullivan schools plan return to full in-person learning | Local News

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — Students in Sullivan County Schools will soon be able to spend the full school week in their classrooms, thanks to a plan approved 5-2 by the county school board.

Starting Sept. 28, elementary and middle school students participating in hybrid learning will go from two to four days a week in classrooms. On Oct. 12, they’ll be able to attend school in person for the full week. Meanwhile, high schools will continue to offer hybrid learning until Oct. 19, when their students will be able to learn in person all five weekdays.

Sullivan County Schools Director Dr. David Cox said he proposed those changes due to a decrease in the community spread of COVID-19.

“Our community spread numbers have gotten to a much more manageable level,” Cox said Thursday afternoon before the meeting. “We just feel like now, we’ve reached a threshold that would allow [more in-person learning].”

Cox said that day that the school’s original metric for evaluating community spread put it in the red zone — the riskiest zone, above yellow and green — at just over 11 new cases per 100,000 people in the county over the last 14 days.

But he said that that number was better than it had been for much of the summer and was barely above the yellow zone, which kicks in when new cases average between six and 10 people per 100,000.

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