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Coronavirus (COVID-19) & The Facts

Due to COVID-19, Arlington Community Schools will remain closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the academic school year.

Please view the latest FAQs for additional information.


UPDATE - April 15, 2020

ACS Families,

Today, Gov. Bill Lee called on all public schools in Tennessee to remain closed for the rest of the academic year as the state and country continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like you, this is not how I wanted this school year to end. It’s not lost on me how this closure will affect all of our students, particularly our Class of 2020 seniors, and the moments they were looking forward to and the memories they were hoping to make. I hope that you remain optimistic, however. I take some comfort in knowing that our teachers and students worked incredibly hard this school year to move forward both academically and as people. Your children shined in so many aspects, from academics to the fine arts, sports, service clubs and in between. The 2019-2020 school year has been like no other, but I hope you join me in celebrating the positives and counting our blessings as we move forward.

This statewide decision obviously raises questions about how we move forward from here, and I want to answer some of those questions now. 

All School Activities Canceled

Since we have confirmation that schools are closed for the remainder of the academic year, all school-based activities and events are now canceled, including the 2020 graduation ceremony planned for May 18th. In preparation for this anticipated decision to close, the high school has been working on ideas to ensure that our seniors are celebrated in every way that they deserve. Ideas include possibly rescheduling the ceremony during the summer months or via a virtual method. We will let you know our plans as soon as they are finalized, but please know we will not let our seniors leave high school without being recognized for this incredible life moment.

All other events are canceled.

Grading

Next week, we will send you additional information about how final grades for the second semester will be handled. Last week, the State Board of Education issued a rule stating that students taking high school courses must be held harmless and that all grades cannot be lower than they were on March 20th. Next week, we will also be sharing a grade recovery plan option for students to help raise their quarter three grade(s).

Though schools are closed for in-person learning, our ACS At-Home Learning will continue! Our teachers are continually adding optional resources for students to continue their learning during the closure, and thousands of students are accessing them on a daily basis. We will continue this process until school was initially scheduled to end on May 22nd. Teachers will still be available to assist your children during this time via the methods we’ve used during this closure.

Finally, we’re working on a procedure for students and parents to retrieve their belongings from school by the end of May. I know you have many questions beyond what I’ve talked about in this letter, and we will work to answer those as quickly as possible.

If you have questions, please email the Information Line. 

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time!

Tammy Mason
ACS Superintendent 

UPDATE - March 24, 2020

ACS Families,

This afternoon, Governor Bill Lee announced his recommendation to close schools through Friday, April 24th. Therefore, ACS will remain closed until that time. Please see the message below that I sent you earlier this afternoon regarding the online optional resources that will begin April 1st.

Tammy Mason

ACS Superintendent

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ACS Families,

Teachers are “back” from spring break – I say that loosely because most of them were forced to cancel travel plans due to the virus as I’m sure you were. But I wanted to respect their scheduled time off so they could enjoy it with family before diving into what will become a new teaching experience for them. I know it seems like your child has missed many days of school, but keep in mind that we were on Spring Break and just now dipped into stockpiled “weather” days that will extend through March 31st.

This week, teachers are getting acclimated with our virtual platform that they’ll utilize to meet within their own teacher teams. Together, they’ll work within subjects, grades, or courses to put together meaningful learning opportunities that will be aligned to standards taught this school year.

Since this pandemic hit, our team has dug into the details of what has and has not been taught this school year. To date, nearly 80 to 90 percent of all standards have been taught, depending on the course or subject. That’s an incredible and comforting feeling to know. In April, our students would have been on track to take the state tests. Now that those tests have been canceled, we’re asking teachers to provide optional resources that will reinforce students’ previous learning while creating a memorable experience.

Please understand that we’re trying to be very intentional about this plan. Simply giving you a list of online resources is not helpful – to you or the students. Our goal is for your child to receive a limited and feasible amount of optional resources to help them continue their learning. These optional resources will not be graded nor impact your child in any negative way.

When will these online optional resources become available?

ACS plans to roll out these online optional resources to parents and students on a weekly basis beginning Wednesday, April 1st. Each weekly packet will cover a week’s worth of optional resources. Next week, we’ll let you know how these resources will be disseminated, but they will include the use of Schoology and One Drive for Grades 5-12 and SeeSaw and the ACS website for Grades K-4. We will send you additional information about the online optional resources early next week.

How long will ACS be closed?

ACS will remain closed until Friday, April 24th.

We’ll be making a set of FAQs that will be posted to the website later this week to address many topics, including registration, report cards, etc.

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate these unprecedented times while national, state and local officials provide guidance on this evolving pandemic.

Please email info@acsk-12.org if you have additional questions, and someone will answer you as quickly as possible.

Tammy Mason
ACS Superintendent

Like most businesses and organizations, Arlington Community Schools has a safety committee that oversees the district's crisis plan, which includes preparations for infectious diseases and pandemics. Given the recent conversations surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19), we felt this information should be shared with our school family and the Arlington community.

The District already has many protocols in place due to cold and flu season. Nonetheless, we are instituting practices that will continue to add a layer of protection for students during this flu season and for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Smart preparation now based on the facts can reduce fear. Facts tell us that we should be preparing. In order to avoid undue panic, please check the source of any information before you share it on social media.

What You Can Do At Home

Use common-sense solutions to help prevent you, your family and the community from spreading viruses and illnesses.

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands. You can also sneeze into your elbow if no tissues are nearby.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth before properly washing your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Disinfect lunch boxes and backpacks with Clorox wipes or other cleaning solutions.

You should also consider the possibility of having to stay home for a week or longer should you or your child get sick with a virus. We understand this is a unique time, and we're taking that into consideration as we implement attendance and truancy policies and procedures.

If you get a virus, do you:

  • have a sitter to watch your child should you have to work?
  • have enough food and water to last you a week or longer?
  • have at least a 30-day supply of your needed medications?
  • have a plan in place in the chance you or a family member contracts a virus?
These are great practices to utilize 365 days a year, regardless of cold and flu season.

How to Clean Your iPad (Students & Employees)

Studies show that devices, like an iPad or smartphone, has hundreds of times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Being a 1:1 iPad district, our students are constantly on their devices. To learn how to clean your device carefully and properly, follow these steps from Apple.

How to Clean Your MacBook (Employees)

To Sick For School Graphic

Stop the Spread of Germs

Stop the Spread of Germs

What Should I Do If My Child Has to Miss Several Days of School?

The most important thing is that your child gets well and doesn't return to school until you get approval from your doctor. To prevent the spread of illnesses and diseases, it's vital you follow the doctor's orders and stay home until you're well enough to return to school.

Practical Steps:

  • Let the school know if your child will miss several days of school due to an illness.
  • Ask your teacher(s) if there is homework or other tasks your child can work on while at home.
  • Ensure your child is well before sending him or her to school.
  • Don't forget the doctor's note, if your child visited a medical provider.
  • If your child has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact your school's principal directly. All information will remain confidential and will only be used for internal purposes.

It's important that we all operate with facts, not fear. Here are links to the reputable sources you can trust:

Should the COVID-19 virus come to Shelby County, we will follow the direction of the state or county Health Department.