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2020-2021 Reopening Plan


Rutherford County/Rockvale High School Reopening Guide


Due to the ever-changing circumstances and evolving research and guidance regarding COVID-19, Rutherford County Schools has provided the district with a guiding plan for reopening schools.  This plan will ensure that the district is prepared to continue providing a high-quality education for all students regardless of the circumstances.

The purpose of this document is to serve as a resource to assist schools in planning for and providing high-quality education experiences for students during a COVID-19 impacted school year. This guidance is organized into sections of broad topics.  Each section will present overarching information and include specific issues relevant to each instructional approach and key questions to help guide local discussions.

District Profile


The mission of Rutherford County Schools is to empower today’s students to grasp tomorrow’s opportunities.

About Rutherford County Schools

Rutherford County Schools consistently ranks among the best school districts in Tennessee and has outpaced national rankings on a number of measures. Rutherford County is one of the fastest growing school districts in Tennessee and the fourth largest behind those in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.

Since the 2004-2005 school year, Rutherford County Schools has added more than 16,000 students for a total enrollment of more than 47,000. During that time, the district has opened 13 new schools and completed additions / renovations at 17 other schools.  Despite the county's tremendous growth rate and the accompanying challenges, Rutherford County Schools has served as a model for many other districts in the areas of academics, planning, and safety measures.

District Reopening Committee

Bill Spurlock, Director of Schools

Dr. James Sullivan, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. Andrea Anthony, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Support Services

Doug Bodary, Assistant Superintendent of Budget and Finance

Trey Lee, Assistant Superintendent of Engineering and Construction

James Evans, Communications and Community Relations Director

Kate Kasuboski, Coordinator of Special Education

Sara Page, Staff Attorney

David Crim, School Safety Director

Sarah Winters, Health & Homebound Services Supervisor

Jason Everett, Transportation Director

Ann Haley, Elementary Coordinator

Barbara Powers, Middle Level Coordinator

Dr. Kay Martin, Secondary Coordinator

Kevin Whittington, Coordinator of Assessment and Accountability

Tyra Pilgrim, CTE Coordinator

Brian Lewis, CTE Specialist

Judy Goodwin, Elementary School Principal Representative

Dr. Letoni Murry, Middle School Principal Representative

Dr. Leisa Justus, High School Principal Representative

Rockvale High School Profile


Empowering today's students to grasp tomorrow's opportunities.



About Rockvale High School

Rockvale High School is a four-year school in the Rutherford County Public School System. Rockvale is located in Rockvale, Tennessee, and is growing community. We are located minutes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, off highway 99. Murfreesboro currently has a population over 130,000 but the number is expected to go over 150,000 in a special census next year. The city is 34 miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee. Rutherford County Schools have over 43,000 students and 47 schools, with additional new schools approved to be built in the coming years. Rockvale High School has approximately 2,100 students. The school follows the semester system with ½ credit earned per course per semester. Rockvale runs a modified block, running an “A” “B” schedule. The school year is 180 days divided into two semesters.

School Reopening Committee

Steve Luker, Principal

LaShonda Chambers, Assistant Principal

Jason Crutchfield, Assistant Principal

Lee Ramsey, Assistant Principal

Monica West, Assistant Principal

School Leadership team, all department heads

April Stevens, Cafeteria Manager

SRO’s, Joseph Rigsby and Jeffery VerBruggen

Stephanie Matschinegg, Administrative Assistant

District Calendar

Rutherford County Schools – Calendar (2020-2021)

Monday, August 3, 2020

Administrative Day

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

In-Service (Day 1)

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Teacher Workday (Discretionary Day 1)

Thursday, August 6, 2020

In-Service (Day 2)

Friday, August 7, 2020

In-Service (Day 3)

Monday, August 10, 2020

Registration/Walk-thru (Abbreviated – 2 ½ hrs.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

First Transition/PLC Day (3 hrs. 15 minutes)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Second Transition/PLC Day (3 hrs. 15 minutes)

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Third Transition/PLC Day (3 hrs. 15 minutes)

Friday, August 14, 2020

Fourth Transition/PLC Day (3 hrs. 15 minutes)

Monday, August 17, 2020

First Full Day of School

Monday, September 7, 2020

Labor Day – Schools Closed
(Day out of Calendar – 1)

Tuesday, September 8 – Thursday, September 10

Progress Reports

Friday, October 2, 2020

End of 1st Nine Weeks

Monday, October 5 – Friday, October 9, 2020

Fall Break (Days out of Calendar – 2-6)

Thursday, October 15, 2020

1st Nine Weeks Report Cards

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Full Instructional Day (Previous In-Service Day 3)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

K-5 Parent-Teacher Conferences
(1/2 Discretionary Day – 2)

Thursday, October 22, 2020

6-12 Parent-Teacher Conferences
(1/2 Discretionary Day – 2)

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election Day – Schools Closed
(Day out of Calendar – 2)

Wednesday, November 4 – Friday, November 6

Progress Reports

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving Break (Discretionary Day – 3)

Thursday, November 26 – Friday, November 27

Thanksgiving Break (Days out of Calendar – 8 & 9)

Friday, December 18, 2020

Last Day of First Semester (Full Day)

Friday, December 18, 2020

End of 2nd Nine Weeks

Monday, December 21 – Friday, January 1, 2021

Winter Break (Days out of Calendar – 10-14)

Monday, January 4, 2021

In-Service (Day 4)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Students Return from Winter Break

Thursday, January 7, 2021

2nd Nine Weeks Report Cards

Monday, January 18, 2021

MLK Holiday – Schools Closed
(Day out of Calendar – 15)

Tuesday, February 2 – Thursday, February 4

Progress Reports Delivered

Monday, February 15, 2021

President’s Day – Schools Closed
(Day out of the Calendar – 16)

Friday, March 5, 2021

End of 3rd Nine Weeks

Thursday, March 11, 2021

3rd Nine Weeks Report Cards Delivered

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

6-12 Parent-Teacher Conferences
(1/2 Discretionary Day 4)

Thursday, March 18, 2021

K-5 Parent-Teacher Conferences
(1/2 Discretionary Day 4)

Monday, March 29 – Friday, April 2, 2021

Spring Break

Tuesday, April 13 – Thursday, April 15, 2021

Progress Reports Delivered

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Teacher Work Day (Discretionary Day 5)

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Last Day of School (Abbreviated Day – 2 ½ hrs.)

Thursday, May 27, 2021

End of 4th Nine Weeks / 4th Nine Weeks Report Cards Delivered


Stakeholder Feedback

Rutherford County Schools has used a variety of methods to distribute information to and gather feedback from stakeholders — our parents and employees.

Four surveys have been conducted, including a survey of parents about reopening options. Those options, per the survey, included a traditional, in-person reopening plan which included an option for parents to choose distance-learning; a phase-in reopening that would have different groups of students alternating between in-person and distance-learning instruction on different days; and an option for all distance-learning. Most parents ranked the first option as their preference, by a weighted average of 2.28 out of 3.

Employees completed a similar survey and ranked the first option — traditional in-person instruction with a distance learning option — as the preferred method for reopening schools. Nearly 45 percent of employees favored the traditional option.

Employees were also surveyed on the number of phase-in days that should be held the first week of the school year. The School Board is considering holding two or five half-days for students to allow them to acclimate to school, while also allowing staff members time to make logistical adjustments as students return. A vast majority, nearly 74% of employees, favored five phase-in days for the first week of school.

The fourth survey was sent to both parents and employees and requested their input on mask requirements for employees, students and any visitors to schools. The survey results showed 70% of stakeholders were in favor of masks being worn by everyone within a school.

In addition to surveys, the school district utilized district websites, social media channels and direct messages to parents and media to keep everyone informed as portions of the reopening plan have been approved. The district leadership team has also held regular meetings virtually with school administrators and department leads to provide information, answer questions and collect valuable input.



Continuous Learning Plan

Rutherford County Schools is dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of our staff and students.  A high-quality education is a right of all students that attend Rutherford County Schools.  Due to the uncertainties and ever-changing environment created by COVID-19, RCS has approved two Instruction models: Traditional and Distance Learning.  Parents have the option to choose which of these two models is best for their child to participate in and can request a change at the conclusion of a nine-week grading period.


At any point in the academic school year, RCS may need to switch the entire district, an individual school, or an individual classroom in or out of traditional to distance models based on the current conditions concerning the COVID-19 virus.  Due to the ever-changing circumstances, parents and guardians should make plans and preparations throughout the year in the event that school buildings are closed, and distance learning must take place.



A flexible plan that allows for traditional instruction in an in-person environment.  Mitigation strategies will be implemented in various instructional arrangements described below.






*A seating chart is recommended to aid in contact tracing. 


Whole Group:

·         Masks are to be worn by students and teachers when less than 6 feet apart.

·         When conducting lessons through ZOOM where both distant and in-class students are participating, designate a student helper (if appropriate) to monitor the distance learning students’ questions or chats, etc.  (An EA may be available in some instances).

·         When teachers are 6 feet from students at the front of the room, teachers may remove their mask. However, teachers should keep mask close so they can move to student groups as needed.

·         Students may take short, designated, silent breathing breaks. Another option is to spread out across the room so that students are 6 feet apart and possibly take a “mask break.”


·         When conducting small groups, students and teachers will be required to wear a mask unless everyone is 6 feet apart.  When working in exploration groups or partners during whole group, masks are to be worn.

·         It is suggested to create heterogeneous cohorts of students for station rotations and whole group partner talk/group work. These partners/groups should remain the same for extended periods of time, preferably changing the partners/groups after a long break such as fall break or winter break. This will aid in contact tracing as needed.

·         The exception to this grouping would be when students are pulled for homogeneous small group instruction.

·         If possible, students should not sit face-to-face.


·         Individual textbooks should be issued to students or stored in crates where only that student handles them.  Textbooks can be sanitized with the district-provided spray as needed.  

·         Classroom library books may be used. It is recommended that students not peruse the library themselves but instead view from a distance to choose or teachers can provide a menu (visual or otherwise) of the list of books and have them choose from the menu.

·         Once a book has been used by a student, it is recommended to isolate that book for at least 72 hours before returning it to circulation.

·         Students may pass out books and other materials as long as they wash hands before and after. 

·         Avoid the use of communal material; if items must be shared, district-provided disinfectant must be applied after each use.  

Stations & Centers

*It is recommended students stay in cohorts for stations/centers.  


Option One: Rotate as needed with 4-minute brain breaks in between.  Teacher sanitizes the centers/stations before students relocate.  

Option Two: Cohorts stay at one area of the room for the entire rotation with various station activities in that area that are to be completed during station time. Manipulatives or other materials in those stations are sanitized at the end of each class. On the next day, students move as a cohort to the next area to complete more stations. 

·         If possible, students should not sit face-to-face.

Distance Learning Materials

·         Textbooks should be distributed the first week of school. Dates and times will be determined by individual schools.

·         Devices should be distributed as requested. 

·         Calculators, if being used in upcoming units, can be provided if you have enough for each student.  If not possible, a free calculator is available through

Science & STEM

*See Small Group Information

·         No more than four students to a group.

·         If lab/investigation requires eye protection/goggles, students must supply their own eye protection; teachers may put goggles on their supply lists.

·         Plexiglass dividers may be used at lab tables with room at the bottom for exchange of materials.

·         Handwashing protocols should be part of the lab/investigation procedures.

·         Conducting labs/investigations outdoors is encouraged.

Special Education

**See Small Group Information which also applies for Special Education small groups and Manipulative / Materials section which also applies to Special Education use of manipulatives and materials.

·         Students will receive services listed in the IEP.  Whenever possible, students will remain 6 feet apart from others.  When it is not possible, students will be provided with a mask or face shield unless the student is unable to wear one.  Teachers will also be provided with a mask and/or face shield.

·         Students will be grouped with the same cohort whenever possible to limit student-to-student contact.

Intervention for RTI, Special Education, and English as a Second Language (ESL)

**See Small Group Information which also applies for Special Education small groups, and Manipulative / Materials section which also applies for Special Education use of manipulatives and materials.

·         Students will receive services listed in the IEP.  Whenever possible, students will remain 6 feet apart from others.  When it is not possible, students will be provided with a mask or face shield unless the student is unable to wear one.  Teachers will also be provided with a mask and/or face shield.

·         Students will be grouped with the same cohort whenever possible to limit student-to-student contact.

**See Small Group Information which also applies for ESL small groups and Manipulative / Materials section which also applies to ESL use of manipulatives and materials.

·         Students will receive language development services to address their language goals listed in their Individual Learning Plan (ILP).  Whenever possible, students will remain 6 feet apart from others.  When it is not possible, students will be provided with a mask or face shield unless the student is unable to wear one.  Teachers will also be provided with a mask and/or face shield.

·         Students will be grouped with the same cohort whenever possible to limit student-to-student contact.

Teacher Hours

·         Teachers are contracted to be at school for 15 minutes before the school day begins and 15 minutes after the day concludes. 

Student Hours

·         Students will attend school during the normal school hours for each school.




Distance Learning

A flexible plan that allows for students to participate in grade level instruction via an online platform and various communication methods (ZOOM, Microsoft Teams, email, etc.).  This can occur in a synchronous (live) and/or asynchronous (recorded) environment.




·         Devices distributed when requested.  


Whole Group

·         Live-stream, recorded, or teacher assignment via Kiddom and ZOOM/Teams

Small Group

·         Live-stream, recorded, and/or independent assignment via Kiddom and ZOOM/Teams


·         Textbooks should be distributed the first week of school. Dates and times will be determined by individual schools.  

·         Individual math tool kits with manipulatives may be provided if the teacher has enough materials. If not, parents will be provided a list of ‘at home’ materials that could be used (ex. Dry beans, straws, cereal, coins, etc.) 

·         Library Book Check-out- Students put books on hold through account or email to media specialists at each school.  Pick-up will be arranged by the media specialists at each school for pick-up date/time and pick-up procedure.  Allow for a minimum of 24 hours of processing.  If schools/district closes, students will only have access to eBooks.




Media Centers

Library books will be available for check-out by students following COVID-19 guidelines.  Each school will have media center procedures. Rockvale’s media center staff will differentiate opportunities to check out library books or instruct classes by doing the following:

  • Split classes ½ in room and ½ in library.
  • Checkout books by taking a cart to the classroom.
  • Possible digital lessons added to Kiddom. Read aloud available as well.
  • Using every other devices in library
  • Removing key pad
  • Taking pictures of the bar codes
  • Can’t browse books and put back on shelf
  • Place their own books on hold
  • Limiting numbers in library before school, during lunch, and after school to follow social distancing protocols
  • Quarantine books for 3 days once returned.
  • Wear masks
  • Wear gloves when handling books.


Kiddom will serve as our district Learning Management System, and it will assist in the management of RCS curriculum in both the building environment and the distance learning environment.  Students will access all curriculum resources through the Kiddom dashboard. Kiddom will provide an opportunity for teachers to share content and provide feedback to students.  All students will access Kiddom through Clever single sign-on.

Rutherford County Virtual School

Rutherford County Virtual School is a full-time school of choice available to students in 6th through twelfth- grades that offers a virtual instruction program at no cost to families that can be accessed at any time and from anywhere during the regular school year.  Utilizing the Pearson platform, it provides students the opportunity to learn through an interactive program as well as live instruction by teachers who are all certified by the state of Tennessee.  The Rutherford County Virtual School will follow the same calendar and testing requirements as all other RC schools and abide by all State of Tennessee and School Board policies governing promotion, retention, and graduation.  The RCVS will serve a maximum of 100 students for the 2020- 2021 school year.  Parents and students interested in applying for the RCVS should contact Dr. Jessica Supakhan (




RCS uses assessments to measure and evaluate the skill sets and knowledge attainment of state standards by students. Throughout the year, RCS will assess students in both the formative and summative format.  Assessments are generated in both computer-based and paper/pencil format.  Students will have the opportunity to assess in multiple locations.



Students attending school on the traditional plan will have attendance taken as usual.  Days out of school due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or mandatory quarantine, will be excused absences.  If the student is able, he/she may continue with their classes through distance learning in Kiddom.  The student may be coded as “D” for distance learning during this time if they are engaging in the learning from home.  When they return to school, they will no longer be coded as “D.”   

Distance Learning

Students who are doing distance learning will be coded as “D” in their attendance profile in Skyward.  This will count them as present.  Students are required to engage in the learning each day, and this will need to be monitored by their teacher(s) by the end of each week.   In order for distance learning students to be considered present for the day, they must be interacting and responding to instruction.  The teachers will take attendance for each class based on the following:

  • Submission of an assignment for the class
  • Participation in an online discussion for the class
  • Participation in synchronous learning in an online classroom
  • Completion of an assessment for the class
  • Discussions with the teacher/class via phone call, email or online meeting in a virtual format
  • Other participation as determined by the principal

If a student has not engaged with the class in any way, then the teacher will mark the student absent in Skyward for that class period or day.

School Campus Logistics

For the most accurate school information, please check individual school webpages.  The needs vary at each school due to factors such as grade band, size, building layouts, and population needs.  General guidelines are expected across the district, but building logistics for student movement, cafeteria, lockers, library, bathrooms, related arts and additional logistical needs are being addressed by school teams. Read the information below regarding Rockvale High School’s logistic plan.  




Rockvale High School Safety Plan


We are looking forward to returning to school, and under the current health circumstances, school will be very different than it has been. Please know that this is for the safety of students, teachers, and other staff. We have high expectations that everyone who chooses to come to school will follow these safety guidelines consistently. This is a non-negotiable. We will take care of our students, focus on education, and have some fun along the way. It just won’t be, can’t be, the same as it was (for now at least). And, finally, we will emphasize the culture of our school that focuses on belonging, learning, becoming, and caring. We are all in this together!


Schedule (8:30am – 3:30pm)


RVHS will run a block schedule in order to lower the number of classes students attend each day (thus, limiting the number of students they are exposed to) and to lower the number of transitions between classes. We will run block A and block B days every other day continuously.  


Covid-19 Transition Schedule 3hrs 15 minute


Monday, August 10- Hold in 1st period (2 and ½ hours)

Tuesday, August 11- A Block

Wednesday, August 12- B Block

Thursday, August 13- A Block

Friday, August 14- B Block


1st           Period- 8:30-9:05                                                              A Blocks 1, 2, 4, 6

2nd/3rd   Period- 9:10-9:55                                                              B Blocks 1, 3, 5, 7

4th/5th    Period- 10:00-10:45

6th/7th    Period 10:50-11:45

Covid-19 Block Schedule


1st        Period- 8:30-9:15

2nd/3rd Period- 9:20-11

4th/5th  Period 11:05-1:45

                1st lunch- 11:00-11:25

                2nd Lunch- 11:35-12:00

                3rd Lunch- 12:10-12:35

                4th Lunch- 12:45-1:10

                5th Lunch- 1:20-1:45

6th/7th Period- 1:50-3:30


Morning holding areas:

We request that car riders/student drivers not enter the building until 8:15 unless they come in to buy breakfast; other students will be socially distanced in the gym(s), cafeteria, and library until they are released to class at 8:15. We will designate seating in these areas, and students will not be moving around once they are seated by an adult. Students must buy breakfast if they want it prior to being seated. Lines for purchasing breakfast will be socially distanced. Students will be released to first period in small groups.


1ST Period

Students will move to 1st period in small groups from each holding location. Social distancing is necessary. Screening and taking temperatures should be done at home. If there is a concern, teachers can check temperatures with a provided thermometer.



RVHS will have 5 minutes between classes, which will reduce congestion in hallways. Staggered release from classes will also reduce congestion in the hallways. Single to double file walking, with one-way direction on each side of the halls, combined with social distancing will be expected, practiced, and enforced. 6 ft distancing reminders will be placed on floors and wall in all hallways.  Teachers and administrators will be in the halls helping to manage.  Again, students will walk single file and six feet apart in the hallways.


Bathroom breaks:

Teachers may choose to allow a bathroom break during block periods to mitigate crowds during transition times. Between classes, an adult will be in front of each bathroom to count so that the restroom is not overcrowded. (In boy’s restrooms, some urinals will be closed so that social distancing can occur) Bathrooms will be sanitized 5 times a day (before school, between class changes, and after school).



RVHS will be adding a fifth lunch to reduce numbers in the cafeteria. There will be extended time between lunches for cleaning/disinfecting. Six-foot social distancing will be enforced in cafeteria lines and seating areas. Additional lunch seating options include outdoor seating, library, and hallways.

Students will have a bar code to scan to purchase lunch (strongly encouraged to use online payment option). Students who bring lunch are strongly encouraged to bring the lunch in paper bags that can be thrown away at the end of the lunch period. Students will be released from lunch one area at a time. ALL trash MUST be thrown away by students in order for proper disinfecting to take place in a timely fashion.



Students will be called for dismissal at staggered times to reduce numbers in the halls.






Temperature checks and health screenings:

Students will follow district procedures on temp checks (100.4 and above) and health questions at their homes.

We have a QR code for visitor and staff health questions and thermometers as needed.  


Large gatherings:

Large gatherings such as pep rallies, class meeting, orientations, speaker’s series (unless virtual) will be postponed until further notice. We will suggest virtual meetings as much as possible for parent conferences and other meetings like IEPs and 504s.


Larges classes have been addressed:

JROTC –  has enough space to socially distance

Chorus – moving to the auditorium

Band - has enough space to socially distance


Safety practices:

Coke/snack machines and traditional water fountains will be turned off.

Students will be encouraged to carry their own water bottles.

Bathrooms will be cleaned/sanitized after each class change and before and after school.

Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the building, especially at school entrances.

All classrooms will have hand sanitizer. 

Classrooms will be set up so student desks are distanced from each other and the teacher and will be facing the same direction. Students may not freely move around the classroom; any movement must be directed by the teacher for safety reasons.

Students will be getting two cloth masks (from RCS).

Teachers will be getting a cloth mask (from RCS).  

Classroom desks/chairs will be sprayed between each class and after school with 4-minute disinfectant that is not a biohazard or dangerous for students or teachers but will kill germs in 4 minutes.  

Laptops will be disinfected after each use.


Suspected COVID Protocol:

We will follow county procedures when a student or faculty/staff member at school has symptoms of illness that may be COVID-19:

Nurse will issue a face mask and will send student or teacher/staff to an isolated room with supervision. Parents are immediately notified and asked to pick up student. We will notify health department when appropriate. Contact tracing will begin. Notification to parents of other students who may have come in contact with the student or teacher/staff member will take place; we will NOT mention the name of the student or teacher/staff member. Students who have symptoms and have been in direct contact with someone with COVID will be self-quarantined for 14 days (remember, we can still offer learning via distance learning). Building/area cleaned/disinfected.    



Visitors will not be allowed in the building (except for instructional staff approved by county office); this includes guest speakers, recruiters, etc. Parents/guardians will be limited to the main office (where they can access attendance personnel, front office staff, and school counseling); we ask to please limit to one person per visit. If the parent is simply dropping off an item, there will be a drop off crate at the door. The parent will leave the item in the crate, and a staff member will pick up the crate and bring it in. The student will come pick up the item from the main office.




Students who chose distance learning will be allowed to participate in after school sports and clubs (the ones that may be safely continued - some clubs/sports may not meet due to inherent contact that can’t be avoided).

Students who chose distance learning will not be allowed to attend any class during the school day. 


Instructional Items:

  • Students who are at school will learn as usual from teachers.
  • Students who are at home learning will be directed by the teacher and will use learning management systems: Kiddom, Teams, Zoom are examples. Administrators, Instructional Coaches, teachers, parents, and students will be trained. Other apps may also be used by teachers. RVHS will keep a list of apps that are used and will clear their use with the Central Office for internet safety.
  • Attendance and grades will be taken for at home learners.
  • Choosing distance learning does NOT impact graduation requirements.
  • The commitment for at home learning is 9 weeks at least.
  • Parents may request a device for students who are learning at home. Contact the main office.
  • Students who are at school will not be able to use classroom sets of textbooks so textbooks will be issued; lockers will be available for textbooks if needed (with the block schedule, this may not be necessary) and will be assigned so that distancing may take place at the locker sites.





Rutherford County Schools uses various technology resources to provide collaboration, communication, and feedback for students and parents. Reliable internet connection is required for those who choose the distance learning option.

  • Edlio webpages are created by each teacher to post information and push notifications to students and parents.
  • Skyward Student Information System supplies a parent portal to update records, view student progress, register new students, and push notifications to parents/students.
  • Kiddom is the district leaning management system that will be used daily to post content for students in the traditional and distance learning path.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is the district email platform for staff and students. Students in grades 3-12 have Outlook email accounts.
  • ZOOM and Microsoft Teams can be used for video conferencing with students in grades K-12 and to record content.
  • Microsoft Immersive Reader, Office Lens, and accessibility features are used to support students with disabilities. Professional Development is provided to help teachers learn how to author accessible content and guide students with the use of the Microsoft Office 365 accessibility tools and apps.

To assist students who do not have internet access at home, additional WIFI hotspots were installed at each high school to extend access to the parking lot. Check with your zoned high school for the exact WIFI hotspot.

Students may request to check out a device through their home school. An acceptable use policy must be signed by the student and parent.

Tech support is provided for student who choose distance learning by emailing Students may also request support from their home school or the district office.

Students who select the distance learning path should establish daily routines for checking and completing assignments online. Teachers may be contacted by email or calling the school.  Video conferences may be requested.


Textbooks and/or online access to the textbook will be provided to all students.  If a parent is choosing distance learning, each individual school will develop a schedule to receive textbooks.




Transportation will be provided for RCS students.  School busing operations will proceed as scheduled through the transportation department.

RCS bus contractors, drivers, and aides are expected to comply with increased safety and cleaning procedures.

COVID-19 Transportation Safety Plan

  • Bus drivers and students will be required to wear a face covering while on the bus. Accommodations for medical-related issues can be made through the school administrator.
  • Students will have assigned seats and required to remain seated.
  • Students should stand 6 feet apart when loading/unloading the bus.
  • The seat directly behind the driver shall remain empty at all times.
  • The driver will ensure windows are open (except for air-conditioned buses) for increased ventilation, if weather/conditions allow.
  • Bus drivers will disinfect with an EPA approved disinfectant after morning, afternoon routes, and any midday or special runs once the bus is empty.
  • Routes may be cancelled based on driver availability due to COVID-19. Parents will need to make alternate arrangements for transportation on these days. 

Parents are encouraged to see other methods of transportation, such as personal vehicle or carpooling, when possible, to reduce bus riders at any one given time.

For more information, please see Board Policy 3.204 and Administrative Procedure 1.4(b).




Feeding Program  


Cafeteria employees will follow all COVID-19 safety recommendations provided by Sarah Winters, Health Services Supervisor.  In addition, all managers will be trained on August 4th at the mandatory manager meeting on the new updates to the HACCP book which include the following:

  • Employees will stay 6 feet apart at all time, if possible.
  • If employees cannot be 6 feet apart, they will wear masks and gloves.
  • During serving, all employees on the line or in the presence of children will wear a mask.
  • The serving line will be sanitized at every opportunity.
  • Staff will be encouraged to be more diligent with frequent handwashing.
  • The lunch room tables will be washed, rinsed and sanitized before and after breakfast and lunch and we strongly encourage tables to be sanitized as often as possible during serving times.

Principals will build in extra time between classes allowing for sanitation of frequently touched areas as often as possible. 

School Nutrition recommends students who bring meals from home, do so in disposable containers, limiting the spread of the virus from home to school or potentially school to home.  

Distance Learning

Students who wish to adopt the distance learning plan are eligible to participate in the USDA School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program. 

  1. Inform parents that wish to participate in this program the following:
  2. There will be no dine-in option for distance learning students. Cold sack lunch meals, similar to the meals served during the first weeks of emergency feeding, will be served.
  3. We recommend parents use the links located below to inform them of the quantity of each meal being picked up for the day. Breakfast and lunch are to be picked up at the same time. Parents must state how many of each meal they will need.  The student(s) registered name must be provided.  This will allow cafeteria managers to verify the student is in the system; complying with the regulations attached to the parental pickup required by the state.  Additionally, this will ensure we have the correct quantity of To-Go meals prepared.
    1. Opening week lunches:
  4. Parents will not enter the school building. They can call the office upon arrival and we will deliver the meals, curbside.
  5. We highly discourage parents from paying for meals onsite. We will have no point of sale available at the front of the school.  Parents will be asked to pre-pay online.  If the parents have issues with paying online, they should contact the cafeteria manager to get payment delivery options sorted out.
  6. Parents will have to drive to school the school their student(s) is/are registered at to pick up their meals. They will not be able to pick up meals at a school if the student(s) are not enrolled at that site.  This is a USDA regulation; as of now there has been no statewide approval for this waiver request.
  7. We recommend schools open for the unified meal pick up twice per week. For example: Monday/Thursday.  This will limit the amount of times parents are returning to the schools.  Parents can request up to 5 days’ worth of breakfast and or lunch meals. This does not include Saturday and Sunday.  Tuesday and Friday
  8. We recommend the meal pickup time to be after the email cutoff but before serving lunch begins. Due to the different serving times at each school, we cannot offer a school wide recommendation for meal pick up times.  Principals and cafeteria managers have discretion to set a time that is best for each school.
  9. School nutrition would also like to strongly recommend principals encourage any student(s) who opt for distance learning, complete a free and reduced form. The parents may not realize why this is so important, but our main source of funding does come from our free and reduced numbers. With less students in the classroom, parents might forget to file the form.


Field Trips

RCS will not permit field trips until further notice.






Athletics/ Extracurricular

General Rules

  1. Students or staff that exhibit any symptoms or who may even suspect that they have been exposed to COVID-19 should NOT attend any RCS activity and should remain home until either testing can be completed or for a minimum fourteen-day quarantine period.
  2. Any groups meeting on RCS property must first obtain permission from the building principal.
  3. Only participating students, coaches, trainers, teachers, etc. directly involved in the activity itself. No spectators may attend.
  4. Prior to beginning activities each session, all students and staff should be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.
  5. If a no-touch thermometer is available, temperatures can be taken. A participant or staff member should be excused if his/her temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Participants should be offered flexible attendance in order to avoid sick individuals from attending events. If a group is unable to meet, or a student is unable to attend due to risk, group leaders should consider offering at-home exercises or activities for the student to complete.
  7. Social distancing of at least 6 feet is required between all individuals.
  8. Unless indicated in guidelines specific to the activity, groups are limited to no more than twenty-five total individuals. If an activity has more than twenty-five participants, the groups should be divided into twenty-five and spread to different facilities, or events should be broken into multiple sections.
    1. Outdoor fields may be utilized by two groups of twenty-five so long as the groups are kept separated on opposite ends of the field.
    2. Indoor facilities are limited to twenty-five individuals total unless a physical wall or divider is available to separate the facility into multiple physically divided areas.
  9. All groups must provide hand sanitizer and disinfectant for all participants and attendees. Groups should also have disinfectants for surfaces available for frequent cleanings of touched surfaces, and prompt students to wash hands and use sanitizer.
  10. Shared equipment such as bats, safety equipment, instruments, etc. must be disinfected between users.
  11. Cloth masks are encouraged whenever possible.
  12. If any person is later identified as being positive for, or displayed symptoms of, COVID-19, the group sponsor should contact the Principal, who in turn, must contact Sarah Winters, the Health and Homebound Services Supervisor, as soon as possible.




Facility Capacity

  1. All indoor spaces may only be utilized to the extent that 6-feet social distancing can be maintained in all directions, and at no time should the indoor space exceed half its recommended capacity.
  2. If indoors, open doors and windows as able to allow increased ventilation.
  3. Locker rooms may be utilized for bathroom purposes only, but participants should enter in shifts to avoid contact. All dressing should occur at home, and all items must be taken home daily for cleaning.
  4. Contained spaces such as dugouts, dressing rooms, practice rooms, storage rooms, etc. should only be occupied to the extent 6 feet can be maintained between individuals. If 6 feet cannot be maintained, the group must use an alternate location.


  1. Pre-participation physicals shall remain required under Board Policy 6.402 if a student does not have an active physical on file for the year.
  2. If the activity is under the direction of the TSSAA, all relevant TSSAA guidelines and requirements must be followed, including, but not limited to, the two-week dead period, graduated athlete participation bans, etc.
  3. Contact sports should be avoided. Teams may practice drills, and other non-contact elements of the respective sport.


  1. While outside, bands can work in group sizes up to fifty members of the band. All participants must remain spaced at least 6 feet apart on all sides. Four 8x5 steps on all sides (as in a traditional fundamental block) is appropriate spacing.
  2. When inside, bands should maintain group sizes of no more than twenty-five people per group, spaced at least 6 feet apart on all sides.
  3. Trombone players should have an extra three feet of space between themselves and the person in front of them (at least nine feet)
  4. Masks are encouraged while not playing. Masks with small slits for mouthpieces can be worn when possible and available.
  5. Bell coverings are encouraged, especially with indoors.
  6. Spit valves should not be emptied inside on the floor.
  7. Sitting/standing in straight lines (rather than curved lines) is recommended, especially when inside.
  8. Band students should have their own instrument, mouthpiece, reeds, and other equipment. Any students who share instruments between groups should be assigned their own mouthpieces. It is preferable for percussionists to use their own sticks and mallets, if possible.
  9. Any school-owned equipment, such as sticks and mallets, music stands, color guard equipment, etc. should be wiped down and disinfected after each use.
  10. Students and instructors are encouraged to follow basic instrument cleaning and maintenance techniques as described in the NFHS cleaning guidelines found here: . Students should have access to necessary cleaning and maintenance tools that are not shared, including cleaning rods, swabs, mouthpiece brushes, etc.
  11. Alcohol swabs and/or disinfectant solution should be made available to disinfect mouthpieces and equipment after each use.
  12. Students are encouraged to have their own water containers. Any water provided should be single-serving water bottles (rather than community water coolers).
  13. Meals:
    1. It is recommended that band camp activities be scheduled so that students eat meals at home and/or can bring their own meals from home.
    2. If meals are provided for students, they should be prepackaged, single serving meals (no buffet style servings, pizza, etc.).
    3. Contact should be minimized at mealtimes. Consider staggering mealtimes. 6 feet of distance should always be maintained between students, either while waiting in a line or while eating. Parents should not serve meals.
  14. Private lessons must occur virtually.


Scrimmages, Exhibitions, Camps, and Travel


  1. All exhibitions, camps, scrimmages, etc. involving multiple teams, groups, bands, or other entities are prohibited until further notice unless indicated below.
  2. Golf, swimming, and tennis may engage in competitive seasons so long as social distancing is enforced, and masks are worn when social distancing is not possible. Coaches should confer with coaches at the hosting location to obtain copies of the safety protocols that will be in place and provide said protocols to their administrators for approval prior to traveling.
  3. RCS groups or teams wishing to travel out-of-county must seek approval from the relevant principal. The principal shall communicate with Sarah Winters, the Health and Homebound Services Supervisor, prior to approving travel. Considerations should include:
    1. The laws, rules, and guidelines in place at the destination;
    2. The ability to travel with all participants socially distanced;
    3. The ability to find safe, clean lodging;
    4. The number and trends of COVID-19 cases at the destination;
    5. The availability of medical services at the destination; and
    6. The safety practices of the event and the ability to continue to comply with CDC guidelines.




COVID-19 Screening, Reporting, Reentry

RCS ADM Procedure 1-4(C)

Definition of a Contact

A “contact” is any person who has been in close proximity (less than 6 feet) for ten minutes or more with another person. If a person becomes ill (shows symptoms and/or tests positive), contacts of that person may have to be quarantined pursuant to steps described in this procedure.

If a student or employee becomes ill while at school/work or answers YES to any of the screening questions and COVID-19 is suspected:

  1. Place mask on individual.
  2. Move individual to a designated “isolation” room where minimal contact with others is possible but where the individual can still be observed.
  3. Anyone assisting this individual closely should wear:
    1. Mask
    2. Eye protection
    3. Gloves
    4. Gown
  4. Notify individual’s emergency contact to pick them up.
  5. Clean the area where individual has been in the building.
  6. Communicate to parents/staff that a possible case has been identified and that all the recommended precautions are being taken.

When a student/employee that was ill or answered YES to any of the screening questions and COVID-19 was suspected may return to work/school:

The individual may return to work or school when one of the four following statements is true. No exceptions will be made:

  1. A health care provider has confirmed in writing that the illness was NOT COVID-19-related because of an alternative diagnosis. **Other viral illnesses, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia do not exclude COVID-19 and are not adequate to authorize return.
  2. The individual had a positive test and isolated for ten days plus three days after having no signs or symptoms. If this happens, then these steps should be taken:
    1. Identify those who have been in close contact (within 6 feet for ten minutes or longer) within the past two days. School-specific staff/administration are responsible for this step.
    2. These contacts should quarantine for fourteen days from their last exposure to the individual whether they wore a mask or not.
    3. Any testing would not change the length of quarantine, so random testing is not recommended, and a negative test is not adequate to authorize return.
  3. The individual has had two negative tests, at least twenty-four hours apart, since symptoms began AND has been well for three days.
  4. The individual has isolated for ten days plus three days after having no symptoms, regardless of testing status (positive, negative, or none at all).

If a positive COVID-19 case is reported (an employee or a student tests positive):

There are different steps to take dependent on whether the person identified as ill was symptomatic or not. This distinction also impacts the steps needed for staff/students who had contact with that individual.

  1. Contacts of symptomatic individuals:
    • Identify any students and/or staff who have been in close contact (within 6 feet for ten minutes or longer) from two days before symptoms began (and forward for two weeks).
      • These contacts should quarantine for fourteen days from their last exposure to the individual because the incubation period for COVID-19 is thought to be as long as fourteen days. If, after fourteen days, they have no symptoms, they may return to work/school.
      • Any testing would not change the length of quarantine, so random testing is not recommended, and a negative test is not adequate to authorize return.
  1. Contacts of individuals that were NOT symptomatic but tested positive:
    • Anyone in “close contact” with the individual from the date of the test (and forward for two weeks) must quarantine.
      • These contacts should quarantine for fourteen days from their last exposure to the individual because the incubation period for COVID-19 is thought to be as long as fourteen days. If, after fourteen days, they have no symptoms, they may return to work/school.
      • Any testing would not change the length of quarantine, so random testing is not recommended, and a negative test is not adequate to authorize return.
  1. Individual identified was symptomatic:
    • They must quarantine for ten days, starting at the time of onset of symptoms, AND
    • Three days with no fever, AND
    • All respiratory symptoms have improved.
  2. Individual identified was NOT symptomatic:
    • They must quarantine for ten days from the time of the test.
    • If after ten days they continue to have no symptoms, they can return.
  3. Individuals who share a home with someone who has tested positive:
    • If the individual who tested positive was symptomatic, the quarantine period for the whole household is fourteen days from the last day of the positive individual’s symptoms.
    • If the individual is NOT symptomatic, the quarantine period for the whole household is fourteen days from the positive individual’s test date.

Student and Employee Daily Screening

Parents/Guardians will be required to answer the five questions below about their students prior to leaving home each day; employees will be required to answer the same five questions about themselves prior to starting work each day:

  1. Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
  2. Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or stomach symptoms?
  3. Do you have now, or have you had in the past 48 hours (2 days) a fever of 100.4 or greater?
  4. Have you noticed a new loss of taste or smell?
  5. Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours (1 day)?

If the answer is No to all questions: no action is required.

If the answer is Yes to ANY of the questions: student/employee is to stay home.

School Nurses will follow the procedures in the COVID-19 Screening, Reporting, Reentry: RCS ADM Procedure 1-4(C) [See Procedure Above] should a student or staff member become ill while at school.

Temperature Checks

  • Students will have daily temperature checks completed by parents/ guardians before leaving for school each day. If the student has a temperature of 100.4 or greater, students should not report to school.
  • Rutherford County School employees will have daily temperature checks and self-screening protocol. If the employee has a temperature of 100.4 or greater, the employee will return home.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is used to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and people with whom they came in contact (contacts) and working with them to interrupt disease spread. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to isolate and their contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily.

Contact tracing for COVID-19 typically involves:

·         Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone they had close contact with during the time they may have been infectious.  Close contact is defined as being in contact with a person for 10 minutes or more and being within 6 feet of the person, with or without a mask.

·         Notifying contacts of their potential exposure

·         Referring contacts for testing

·         Monitoring contacts for signs and symptoms of COVID-19

To prevent the further spread of disease, people who had contact with someone with COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to stay home and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others until 14 days after their last exposure to a person with COVID-19. Contacts should monitor themselves by checking their temperature twice daily and watching for symptoms of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Cleaning Protocol

Facility Guidelines for Re-opening and Daily Procedures

  • Cleaning regularly with Soap and Water to physically remove the dirt, germs and impurities from surfaces. Followed with EPA Registered Disinfectant when needed to kill germs on surfaces and objects.  
  • EPA Registered household disinfectant solution. Use as directed.
    • 1/3 cup bleach per 1 gallon of water
    • Leave on surface 1 minute
    • 70% Alcohol solutions may also be used
  • All Facilities have been cleaned per normal end of year cleaning protocol.
  • All Facilities will be clean prior to students returning.

Daily Cleaning Procedures

  • Classrooms
  • Desks
  • Chairs/Chair arms
  • Door handles Interior and Exterior
  • Table tops
  • Sinks
  • Light switches
  • Call Buttons
  • Telephones
  • File Cabinet Handles
  • Keyboards
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Mop Floor
  • Gym

◌    Bleachers – Seat, Floor Area, and Handrails

◌   Door Handles Interior and Exterior

◌   Light Switches

◌   Gym Equipment

   Locker rooms, Weight rooms




◌   Mop Floor

  • Cafeteria/Library/Office Areas

Cafeteria Tables and Seats


Chairs/Chair arms

Door Handles

File Cabinet Handles



Light switches

Mop Floor

  • Restrooms




Stalls and Door Handles

Mop Floor

  • Hallways

Water fountains


Door Handles Interior and Exterior


Elevators/Chair Lifts

Mop Floor


  • Each School Principal will determine the best intervals to clean and disinfect during the school day using these guidelines.
  • Students are encouraged to bring their own water or to use the water bottle fillers while on campus.

Cleaning for Outdoor Areas (Including Playgrounds)

  • Per CDC recommendations, playgrounds and play equipment only require routine cleaning, but not disinfecting. Use of disinfectant on playground equipment has been proven ineffective. 
  • High Touch areas should be routinely cleaned.
  • Exterior wood surfaces i.e. picnic tables, handrails, etc., are not recommended to be disinfected.


Procedure for COVID-19 Cleaning (If student/employee test positive)

  • Close off all areas visited by the person (as much as possible).
  • Open outside doors and windows if possible.
  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas.
  • Vacuum Rugs or Carpet in any affected area.
  • Vacuum at night for large common areas
  • Do Not Vacuum with other people in attendance.
  • Once disinfected, areas can be reopened for use immediately.
  • Persons without close contact can return to space after disinfecting.
  • If more than 7 Days have passed since a person who is sick has visited the facility, additional cleaning is not required.
  • Continue routine cleaning and disinfecting procedures as normal.

Hand Washing/ Hand Sanitizing

The CDC recommends Washing Hands frequently as s BEST deterrent for spreading the COVID-19 virus.  Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is the best way to get rid of germs.  Students and staff will wash hands throughout the day.  When soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer is an acceptable alternative.  Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout school buildings.


RCS will limit nonessential visitors from the traditional school environment to comply with CDC guidelines.  Building administrators will approve any essential visitors throughout the school day.  Parents/guardians should call or email their child’s teacher or the front office of the school to set up an appointment before arriving.


Metrics for School Closures


Active Cases
(Number of confirmed cases + Number of probable cases) - Number of recovered cases


Confirmed Case 
an individual that meets confirmatory laboratory evidence

Evidence: Positive lab results SARS-CoV-2-RNA


Probable Case 
an individual that meets clinical criteria and 
epidemiological evidence with no confirmatory laboratory testing for COVID-19, or meets presumptive laboratory evidence and either clinical criteria or epidemiological evidence, or meets vital records criteria with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19.

Evidence: Health care provider determination

Source: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), 2020 Interim Case Definition, CDC


Layer 1County-Level Data as Reported to the TN Department of Health

The information below represents the thresholds for low, moderate, and high spread based on the percentage of active cases among Rutherford County residents.












 Layer 2 – School Level Protocols Based on Community Spread











Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is distance learning?

Answer: Distance learning is a mode of instruction in which students are provided access to high quality instruction, instructional materials, and teacher/student interaction


  1. How do I sign up for distance learning?


Answer: It is a two-step process.

  • Complete this LINKto notify RCS of your intent to opt-in to distance learning.
  • Then complete the REGISTRATION FORMand email/deliver to your child’s registered school. (Front office drop off or email principal and/or attendance secretary)
  • Luego complete el FORMULARIO DE INSCRIPCIÓNy envíelo por correo electrónico a la escuela registrada de su hijo. (Entrega en la recepción o correo electrónico al director y / o secretario de asistencia)  
  1. If a parent chooses distance learning, how long is the commitment?


Answer: After feedback from our parents and principals, the commitment is for a nine weeks period. After each nine weeks, a parent can choose to change between traditional and distance learning. However, during an extenuating circumstance, each school will work with parents to discuss options as needed.




  1. Will my student have the same teacher as if they were attending in person?


Answer: This will be school specific. Students will be scheduled as if they were attending in a traditional format. They will access course content via the Kiddom platform and will interact with the teacher via ZOOM and Microsoft Teams. However, if a school has enough students at a grade level/course who choose distance learning, that school may choose to assign a teacher to distance learning students solely.


  1. Are students expected to sit in front of a computer for 6.5 hours each day if we are choosing distance learning?


Answer: Students will be provided access to content through their normal schedule if they choose distance learning. It is not expected or advised that a student spend 6.5 hours interacting solely on a computer/device. Daily activities can include: live class with teacher, viewing recorded sessions, participating in online modules/activities, completing assessments, etc.


  1. Can my child come to school for some classes and attend via distance learning for others?


Answer: No, students need to either be enrolled traditionally or in distance learning. The only scenarios involving a student enrolled in distance learning attending a “traditional” in person-class would involve students receiving specialized services, instruction, or intervention served under an IEP, 504 or ESL.


  1. Will students receive grades if attending through distance learning?


Answer: Yes, grades will be taken just as if the student was attending traditionally.


  1. Will attendance be taken and if so, how?


Answer: Yes, RCS Attendance Policy and Tennessee requirements are still in effect. Students will be credited with attendance as long as they are participating and interacting with the teacher and completing course requirements. Students will be marked as “D” for distance learning in Skyward’s parent portal. This indicates that the student was present.


  1. Will students have access to the same courses/classes if they choose distance learning?


Answer: Yes, all course offerings are still available. Some courses will not be able to provide the same experience as in a traditional setting such as Driver’s Ed and some high school CTE courses. Students will still be able to enroll in AP, Dual Enrollment, IB, Cambridge, etc.




  1. Are students allowed to participate in extracurricular activities if they attend via distance learning?


Answer: Yes, since these students are still enrolled at their home school, they are eligible to attend. They are still considered a student at the school but are receiving instruction in an online format.


  1. I see other counties aren’t allowing participation. Why is RCS different?


Answer: Each district is different. TSSAA does not allow participation for students attending a fully online Virtual School (such as the Rutherford County Virtual School). However, since students choosing distance learning are staying enrolled in their normal assigned school, they are eligible to participate.




  1. Will students have access to check out a device if needed?


Answer: Yes, each school will handle device checkout similar to what occurred in the spring. This will also be coordinated with textbooks for students enrolled in distance learning.


  1. I have more than one child, can I check out more than one device?


Answer: Yes, but the device would need to be checked out from the school that each child attends. Ex: If you have one student at elementary and one at middle, you would need to visit both sites. We understand the extra stop this requires but is needed for our inventory purposes.




  1. I have a child with special needs. How will my child receive services?


Answer: As a parent, you still may choose a distance learning option.  If your child returns to school, his/her services will be implemented as written in your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).  If you choose distance learning, the IEP team will need to meet to develop a Contingency Learning Plan which will address if/how IEP services will differ using an online platform for distance learning.


  1. How are the needs of students receiving specialized instruction (including but not limited to IEP and 504) taken into consideration under the options available in the reopening plan?


Answer: Regardless of the mode of instruction in use under the continuum of learning, students who have an IEP will have the same opportunities as students without IEPs. The district will work to provide appropriate services to meet the student’s individual needs for both a traditional and a distance learning setting.


  1. How will RCS focus on mental health?


Answer: Rutherford County Schools recognizes that for some students, social distancing and the closure of schools has been difficult.  School social workers will work together with teachers, staff, guidance counselors, and families to connect families with the appropriate resources to assist students in the transition back to school.


  1. My child receives specialized English language development classes.  Will he/she be able to continue receiving these services?


Answer: Yes. Regardless of the mode of instruction, all English learners will receive the required amount of English language development services they need to continue developing English language proficiency.


  1. What do I do if I have questions or concerns about my child’s English development?


Answer: Your student’s ESL Teacher is always a great place to start.  Prior to the teachers return to the classroom, parents are encouraged to reach out to the district’s ESL Department at 615-893-5815 x22148.


  1. How will I get information if I don’t speak or read English very well?


Answer: All information will be translated in the language of the home through a variety of ways both at the school and district level.  Information directly posted on the RCS Web Page can be translated by scrolling to the very bottom and selecting the desired language in the drop-down menu. If you need help with translation, please contact Mrs. Nona Hall at 615-893-5815 ext. 22148.


  1. My child has significant health issues, but also has extensive IEP services. How will his needs for IEP services be met while distance learning?


Answer: Distance learning will not be the same as traditional services in school. Instead of participating in person, services will be delivered virtually through tools such as Microsoft TEAMS, ZOOM, and Kiddom.  In addition, we have a variety of online instructional tools we are able to use in order to provide instruction lessons virtually.  Because the needs of each child are unique, your student’s IEP team will need to meet to develop an individualized Contingency Learning Plan for use during optional distance learning and/or school closures in the future. This plan will address the specific questions unique to your student.  This will be done during your child’s next annual IEP, or as soon as it can be scheduled for those choosing a distance learning option.


  1. Will my child be able to join the class remotely (through ZOOM or Microsoft TEAMS) to participate in the instruction as it is occurring in the building? How will this be accomplished? How will his questions be recognized and answered in that moment?


Answer: All students will have the same distance learning opportunities available to them.  Some classes will have a live ZOOM or Microsoft TEAMS link to participate. There will be information provided about ZOOM and/or Microsoft TEAMS participation for all students.  Students will be given information about how to ask questions.  They will likely use the “raise hand” feature and/or the chat feature within those platforms.


  1. Will distance learning be more than just logging onto iReady? How will it differ from what happened in March?


Answer: Distance Learning opportunities provided last spring were learning opportunities provided to prevent regression.  Distance learning this fall will involve active instruction, assignment requirements, teacher feedback and grading.  Students will be expected to complete tasks.  In addition to assignments given (which may include but are not limited to iReady and other educational software), teachers will be working with students over a variety of distance learning platforms.


  1. Will my child have access to actual books and materials and not just online resources?


Answer: All students will have the same access to materials. Contact your child’s school to arrange for pick-up of textbooks.


  1. When will my Evaluation which was delayed due to COVID 19 be completed?


Answer: The district is working on a plan to address the needed evaluations.  The school psychology team as well as our other assessment specialists will be working together to complete the evaluations as soon as possible. Your school team will contact you to schedule the evaluation.  We will begin evaluations as soon as school re-opens.


  1. I feel my child has regressed significantly during the school shut down.  How will the school address this regression?


Answer: Schools will be assessing students upon the return to school and looking at previous data from last school year to determine the amount of regression.  We will be addressing the regression for all students with opportunities for review and reteaching.  If a parent is concerned about the level of regression, an IEP team meeting should be requested so that the IEP team can create a plan to address each student’s need.


  1. What should I do if I have additional questions about my student’s IEP services?


Answer: Your student’s Special Education Teacher is always a great place to start.  Prior to the teachers return to the classroom, parents are encouraged to reach out to the school principal.  If the school principal is not able to answer the specific questions, feel free to contact our Special Education Office at 615-893-5812 x22035.




  1. Will students be able to participate in performing arts classes if they are distance learning?


 Answer: Yes. Students will be enrolled in these classes just as if they were attending in-person. They will be a member of the band, choir, orchestra, and/or theater program at their school. This includes beginning classes, such as beginning band or orchestra.


  1. Will distance learners be able to participate in extracurricular programs, such as marching band?


Answer: Yes. Performing arts programs can be both curricular (a class that takes place during the school day) and extracurricular (an activity that takes place outside the school day). Distance learning students can participate in both. Individual schools and programs can answer more specific questions about this participation.


  1. How will distance learners participate in performing arts classes?


Answer: RCS is investing in two music programs that will benefit both in-person and distance learning music students at RCS middle and high schools. This year, band and orchestra students will have access to the SmartMusic program, and middle and high school choir students will have access to the MusicFirst program. All music students will be able to access assignments on Kiddom and complete assignments in SmartMusic or MusicFirst. These programs will allow both traditional learners and distance learners to access music and sight-reading exercises assigned by the teacher. Teachers will have information about access to these programs once school begins. Theater programs also have access to virtual tools, such as Flipgrid, which allow students to receive feedback from teachers on their performance. Some distance learners may also opt to join performing arts classes virtually or view pre-recorded videos provided by their teachers, depending on what is offered at their school.


  1. What steps will RCS schools be taking to mitigate any risks associated with playing an instrument, singing, or theatrical speaking?


Answer: RCS leaders are constantly monitoring research and expert recommendations regarding safety and mitigation strategies for the performing arts. Mitigation strategies may look slightly different from school to school based on factors such as room layout and class size. Distancing and cleaning procedures will be in place. Some instrument-specific mitigation strategies will be used when appropriate. Some innovative instruction methods, such as chamber ensembles, blended instruction, and flipped classroom models may be used when deemed appropriate. Safety of our students is always our first priority, and procedures at each school will be based on how the most up-to-date research and expert recommendations can best be implemented at each school.


  1. What about performances?


Answer: RCS will continue to work with our local health department to determine when it is safe to resume large gatherings for in-person events such as concerts and plays.




  1. How will you work to rebuild a classroom community and support learners social-emotional needs? 



  • Teachers will lead by example demonstrating flexibility, creating a positive atmosphere, and practicing safety protocols. 
  • Teachers will encourage students to have a positive attitude and a teamwork mindset. 


  1. How can you design projects and group work with social distancing in mind? 


  • Use of video recording of instruction as much as allows and allow students to collaborate virtually even when in the same room to encourage social distancing. 
  • Project-based learning will have to be designed/re-designed with more attention focused on projects that can be done individually or even remotely. 
  • Use of TEAMS and ZOOM to collaborate with the teacher and with classmates and use of Kiddom to access the assignments, materials, and videos.


  1. How will students utilizing Distance Learning participate in CTE courses? 

Answer:  Students will have access to the Kiddom platform and their teachers and lessons.  Where needed, they may also have access to CTE courses using the Edgenuity platform to supplement content knowledge. 


  1. How will you assess learning loss in CTE when classes resume? 

Answer: Teachers will review standards from previous CTE coursework pre-requisites to determine what will need to be reinforced before advancing to new standards and material. 

  1. How will changes made to assessments for social distancing impact accommodations for special populations? 



  • CTE teachers should follow district accommodation guidelines. 
  • Assessment accommodations should adhere to Individual Education Plans for each student. 





  1. Are there travel restrictions in place that affect student participation in events? 


Answer:  There will be no CTSO travel during the Fall semester. Any CTSO competition with competitors or leadership opportunities outside of your school must take place in a virtual setting. Spring CTSO travel and competition requests will be evaluated as we near the end of the Fall semester. 


  1. How can students participate in leadership training with social distancing or virtually if in-person events are cancelled? 

Answer: Teachers and students will be able to use the TEAMS or ZOOM platforms to conduct virtual meetings for leadership activities.

  1. Can CTSOs still have club meetings? 

Answer: Yes.  In-person CTSO meetings can take place as long as the 6 feet social distancing guidelines are in place and students adhere to all policies such as face coverings if required by the district. It is recommended that meeting opportunities also be provided through an online format such as Microsoft Teams or ZOOM for those attending at home. 

  1. If TN CTSOs host competitive events virtually, which events will be available to students, and how can you help them prepare?

Answer: Students will be allowed to participate in any available CTSO event that the TDOE deems appropriate.  They will prepare by using the competition guidelines and will collaborate in-person and virtually as applicable.  

  1. Will students be allowed to participate in Work Based Learning opportunities off-campus? 

Answer: Yes, if they are enrolled in the WBL course, have a job in the public/private sector, and follow workplace procedures and Rutherford County Schools’ policies.   School level Work-based Learning Coordinators will visit the students’ places of employment as outlined in the WBL Roles and Responsibilities document while adhering to workplace procedures and Rutherford County Schools’ policies. 

  1. Will students be allowed to participate in Clinical Health Science placements? 

Answer: Yes, if they are enrolled in the Clinical Internship course, have a placement that is willing to accept our students, and follow workplace procedures and Rutherford County Schools’ policies.  Students may also practice skills in the lab space at their respective high schools while practicing social distancing and following District recommended CDC guidelines. 

  1. Will students be allowed in the CTE Lab areas? 

Answer: Yes, the CTE Lab areas are an extension of the classroom and will be utilized. 


  1. Will students be able to use CTE Equipment and Materials in the lab area? 

Answer: Yes, the equipment and materials will be sprayed with the provided 4-minute sanitizing spray as applicable or protective gear will be in place as to not damage the equipment.  Disposable gloves, protective face masks, and all other safety precautions (including social distancing) will still be in place based on safety requirements per CTE Program of Study.

  1. Will students be able to use the classroom set of CTE Textbooks? 

Answer: Yes. CTE only purchases classroom sets of textbooks. Books will need to be sanitized between uses.



  1. If an employee contracts the virus will they be required to use their sick days, take unpaid leave or will they be afforded alternative days?

Answer:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides provisions that will apply through December 31, 2020.  The paid leave entitlements are that the employer will pay up to two weeks (80 hours or a part-time employee's two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave at: 100% for qualifying reasons #1-#3 on the qualifying reasons list related to COVID-19.  #1 is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; #2 has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19.  #3 is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis. 

It is at a 2/3rds pay rate for reasons #4-#6 for two weeks.  #4 is caring for an individual subject to an order described in #1 or self-quarantine as described in #2.  #5 is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons.  #6 is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  See FFCRA posted under COVID-19 on the district’s webpage.

  1. Will additional sick days be provided if an employee contracts COVID-19?

Answer:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act does not provide for additional sick days.  However, employees who are members of the Sick Bank may apply for additional days.  An employee may use their sick days for additional days beyond the FFCRA coverage.


  1. What precautions will be in place for employees who are immune compromised or have other underlying health conditions?

Answer:  Employees with underlying health conditions will need to work with their administrators on reasonable accommodations and possible ADA accommodations. 

  1. What if I am an employee who medically cannot wear a mask and must wear a face shield?

Answer:  The district has been working with the CTE department to make face shields for those employees who are unable to wear a mask due to an underlying health condition.  These will be provided to those employees.


  1. For our medically fragile teachers, will they be compensated by the county long term disability pay program if they are found to be medically unable to work?

Answer:  To qualify they must be out of work for 181 days (6 months) and when they file their claim, they will have to provide their medical information to the long-term disability company for determination.


  1. Are there any additional concessions for our employees who have school age children and are facing closure of childcare facilities due to COVID-19?

Answer:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act does provide up to 10 weeks more of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at a 2/3rds rate for qualifying reason #5 (is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons) for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.


  1. Where do I go to get tested for COVID-19 if the need occurs?

Answer:  The three med point clinics do not have the testing abilities currently.  You may go to the county’s health department or your personal doctor for testing.


  1. In the event a teacher contracts the virus, how will we manage the substitute teacher demands?

Answer:  Advantage XPo is ready with their returning and new substitutes to provide substitutes for our needs.  They are training their employees on all safety and instructional protocols as well as board policies.


  1. Will employees be required to self-screen themselves daily and wear masks?

Answer:  Yes, all employees must wear masks or a face shield if the employee is medically unable to wear a mask.  Every employee will complete a daily form for temperature check and COVID-19 related questions.  These will be reviewed by the employee’s supervisor while maintaining the confidentiality of the employee’s health information.


  1. What about visitors to the school building?

Answer:  Building administrators have provided a symptom checklist at each entrance door or check-in location for visitors to review and confirm answers of no to the COVID-19 questions.  We encourage each location to develop a drop box for paperwork and other items to be exchanged in a contactless manner.  All visitors must wear a mask.  Visitors allowed into the buildings will be limited to those with essential business.


  1. What mental health resources are available to employees?

Answer:  Life Services Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide help in a variety of areas.  They provide 24/7/365 access and can be reached by or at 800-822-4847.  EAP is a free confidential counseling and assistance program.


  1. Will we receive Hazard Pay?

Answer:  No, hazard pay is not available.  Our protocols are in line with CDC Guidelines and the local health department.  It is within the board’s discretion to determine additional bonuses.