With half of West View Middle School’s 7th graders under COVID-19 quarantine, Hamblen County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Perry said the system encourages all West View 7th graders to participate in an optional virtual program starting Thursday.
“We saw a significant increase in the number of cases in our 7th grade at West View Middle School,” Perry said. “We have been forced to quarantine almost half of the 7th grade students (at West View), and it is no longer feasible, or safe, to provide instruction to all remaining students in person. We We will be implementing an optional virtual program for all Grade 7 (West View) students starting Thursday, August 19.
Perry said the program is specific to seventh graders at West View and is not needed, or available, for students at other schools. In fact, Perry noted that four schools in the system have no active cases of COVID-19.
“On August 19, we will be encouraging all (West View) grade 7 students to participate virtually,” he said. “However, the school will be open to (non-quarantined) students who cannot function well with virtual teaching, and they can attend school as long as they have no symptoms.”
Perry said school was operating as normal on Wednesday, giving parents a day to consider options and make appropriate arrangements.
Perry said the virtual instruction will only last about a week.
“The optional virtual program for this group of students will cease on August 27 and students should report to class on August 30 as long as they do not have symptoms,” Perry said. “This short window will allow us to more effectively identify these students as positive because they will have time to show symptoms. We hope this will allow us to stop the spread of the virus in our school.”
Perry said non-quarantined West View students who are virtual will still be able to participate in extracurricular events as long as they complete all necessary duties and are in good standing with the school.
Students cannot return to school if they have symptoms or have been quarantined by the school.