Video #17 Transcript 04/13/2020

Good evening Hamblen County.  Today is April 13, 2020.  Please contact Kellie Smith if you have any questions or concerns for the Hamblen County Coronavirus Task Force and we will address those issues in a future broadcast. 



1.         The School District has had two Extended School Program staff members test positive for COVID-19 last week.  Fortunately, these staff members seem to be fully recovering and is currently doing okay.  At this point, the school district is unsure of the extent of the exposure so we will close the program for now.  We will continue to evaluate the program and make a determination if we should, or if we can, reopen in the future.  We sincerely appreciate all of the dedication and hard work of all our ESP staff members and we sincerely hope everyone is healthy.  Anyone involved in the program should evaluate their level of potential exposure and be tested if they have concerns.  It is also advisable to self-isolate if you had connections with the program and monitor yourself and family members for symptoms. 


2.         The ESP program was housed at Hillcrest Elementary School.  The school district has closed that facility for at least two weeks.  During this time, we will conduct a deep cleaning of the facility and give ample time for any surface contamination to dissipate.  This closure will eliminate one of our feeding sites.  Parents may go to one of the other school sites which includes West High, Fairview, Russellville, and Manely Schools.    We will maintain our current bus routes to provide meals. 


3.         The Hamblen County Health Department is providing COVID-19 testing Monday-Friday, 8:30-11:30 AM and 1:00-4:00 PM, as well as Saturday, April 18 from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM and Sunday, April 19 from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM.  Please call the health department at 423-586-6431 and press “0” for a suggested time to come for testing or to receive more information.”


4.         The State Board of Education met on April 9 and took a significant actions to address many of the issues associated with the virus.  One of the most important issues they passed was connected with academic grades.  Students will be awarded the grade they had on March 20, 2020.  However, students have the opportunity until the end of the school year to improve that grade if they so desire.  It is important to understand that we will continue the high school instructional program until the end of the school year.  Students have missed a great deal of instruction since we closed school last month.  Many of these academic skills being address now will be needed for next year for the students to be successful.  Please continue to be involved in the instructional process to the end of the school year so you will not be so far behind next year. 


5.         The School District will begin to repair and return laptops for high school students on April 15.  We will use the same process we had before the Stay at Home order issued by the Governor. High School teachers will continue to provide mandatory assignments on April 16.  Although you may already have a grade that you want as of March 20, it is still very important to keep up with your school work. You will use this information next year in your high school classes and for college.  It is extremely important that you remain engaged in dual enrollment classes with any colleges still providing on-line instruction. Those requirements have not changed and you will still be responsible for all assignments given at the college level.  It is also important to remain engaged in all AP classes to ensure you are ready for the AP exams.  


6.         The State Board of Education also determined that a high school senior could graduate with 20 credits this year if that student still meets the mandatory course requirements.  The school district is currently reviewing all high school senior transcripts to ensure you are academically able to graduate this spring.  Someone from the school district will contact you within the next several days and let you know if you are in danger of not graduating this spring.  It is critical that all students and parents maintain a sharp focus on completing all graduation requirements.  We will continue to work with seniors on credit recovery so they can earn the necessary credits to graduate.  





Good evening Hamblen County School Family.  Today is April 13, 2020.  Please review the following information and contact Kellie Smith if you have any questions or concerns.