This story and map was last updated on Aug. 28, 2020.
Schools across Tennessee are reopening — and revising their plans.
In Memphis, the school year will begin Monday, Aug. 31, with all students attending virtually. Meanwhile, in Hamilton County, kids will start in-person classes five days per week.
Metro Nashville Public Schools announced this week that it would seek to start bringing students back to physical classrooms after fall break, using a phased-in approach. In the meantime, MNPS will begin offering free child care options through the YMCA at several schools for students in grades K-5 after Labor Day. That’s also when some exceptional education students may be brought back to school.
Below are Nashville-area public school districts and their reopening plans. A few smaller city districts not included in the map are captured in the text below. Many districts are reassessing their reopening plans regularly based on active cases of the coronavirus in their area. To see cases and exposures in districts across the state, check out the COVID-19 school outbreak map here.
School districts are listed in alphabetical order.
Cannon County Schools — The district reopened Aug. 11 with in-person and virtual schooling options, with a minimum nine-week time commitment. However, the plan is contingent on countywide coronavirus statistics. The district is not requiring masks for students or staff.
Cheatham County Schools — Students in the fourth grade and below begin the year in person, while fifth graders and up are beginning with a hybrid model through at least Labor Day. Parents for students in any grade had the option to choose remote learning. The district says masking will be required when distancing is not possible.
Dickson County Schools — Dickson County students returned to school Aug. 3 with some safety measures in place. The Dickson Post reports water fountains have been turned off and visitors may come by appointment only. The district encourages masks but is not requiring them. There is an online learning option.
Franklin Special School District — The Franklin Special School District opened using a hybrid model with K-2 students attending in person as well as students with special needs and English language learners. All others began learning either remotely or virtually, but the district welcomed back all remote learners beginning Aug. 24. Those enrolled in virtual school will not return physically this semester.
Hickman County Schools — Parents could choose between distance and in-person learning, both of which began Aug. 3. Schools have taken some safety measures like turning off drinking fountains. Masks are encouraged, but not required.
Lebanon Special School District — Lebanon students returned to schools the week of Aug. 3, first with phase-in days and then transitioning to a hybrid learning model to reduce the number of students in the building at a time. Masking is optional for students in most areas, but it’s required in clinic areas and for staff working in close proximity to others.
Macon County Schools — Students returned to campus on Aug. 24. Parents had the option to enroll their students in distance or in-person learning.
Maury County Public Schools — Maury County reopened most schools Aug. 10. Parents had been given an option between remote and in-person learning. Two district schools were closed on the first day due to dozens of staff members being exposed to somebody with the virus. The district has since deemed all employees essential and bars them from completing a quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms. The Columbia Daily Herald reports, those who’ve come into contact with somebody with the virus will be expected to show up to work with a face mask. Otherwise masks are encouraged but not required in Maury County Schools.
Metro Nashville Public Schools — The district will remain fully virtual for all students until Labor Day. After that some exceptional education students may return to in-person classes. Traditional students may begin phasing into in-person classes after fall break, which ends Oct. 9. The district will prioritize getting its youngest students into classrooms first, then gradually adding in middle and high school students. Families will have the option to remain virtual through the end of the year. To learn more about MNPS reopening plans, click here.
Murfreesboro City Schools — Murfreesboro schools are a taking a hybrid approach. Students in third through sixth grade began the year remotely, while preschoolers through second graders were allowed to begin in person. Parents of younger students were also able to opt for remote learning. Masking is required in most spaces. However, there are some designated mask-free zones throughout schools.
Robertson County Schools — Students returned to Robertson County Schools with phase-in days beginning Aug. 12. Parents could choose between online and in-person learning. For students on campus, the district says masks are required whenever social distancing is not possible, but they may be removed when spacing permits.
Rutherford County Schools — Rutherford County students returned to class either remotely or in-person beginning Aug. 13. The system also had a third, virtual school option, which is distinct from its distance-learning option. The district has implemented a mask mandate for students attending in person. They’re required to wear them except during designated mask breaks, called at teachers’ discretion.
Smith County Schools — Smith County students could choose between distance and in-person learning before the first day of school on Aug. 7. Masking is encouraged for students in most areas, and it’s required in clinic areas and for staff working in close proximity to others.
Sumner County Schools — Sumner County students will return Aug. 17 with a hybrid learning model to reduce the number of people in buildings at the same time. Face coverings are required for all staff, middle and high school students. Masks are strongly encouraged for elementary schoolers. A fully remote option is also available.
Trousdale County Schools — Students in Trousdale County Schools returned to class at the end of July with a hybrid model that allows about half of students into the school building on alternating days. Parents were also able to opt into the district’s virtual school. Masking is required for students and staff when social distancing is not possible.
Williamson County Schools — Similarly to Franklin schools, Williamson County Schools started the year remotely for most students. The district began with distance learning for third through 12th grades. It has since phased in most other traditional students. Beginning Monday, Aug. 31, all traditional students will be allowed back in-person. Parents could also have chosen a fully remote option for the semester.
Wilson County Schools — The district pushed back its first day from Aug. 3 to Aug. 17 and plans to use a hybrid reopening model. Only half of students will be allowed to attend at a time, with some fully remote days built into the schedule. Parents could also have chosen a fully remote option. The system says it will consider loosening restrictions based on coronavirus cases in the area after fall break. A mask or face covering will be required.