Governor Bill Lee on Wednesday said he was extending school closures through the end of the school year and creating a COVID-19 Child Well-being Task Force.
“I appreciate the governor’s recommendation schools remain closed through the end of the school year to protect the health and safety of all Tennesseans. The coronavirus pandemic is constantly evolving, and we are only starting to see how this pandemic is affecting our children,” said Dr.
Penny Schwinn, state education commissioner.
“Children being out of school for such a long time has significant implications for a child’s wellbeing, and this poses a different kind of challenge for all of us, as communities and as a state. There is critical work ahead, and I am honored to convene the COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force in the coming weeks to focus state and local leaders on the well-being of Tennessee’s children.”
Commissioner Schwinn will be convening a COVID-19 Child Well-being Task Force to support local leaders and communities in caring for our students, particularly those who are vulnerable or most at risk. Details about the Task Force will be announced in the coming weeks.
She said the Tennessee Department of Education has developed and designed a number of resources for optional, free use by local districts. This includes school closure toolkits; three times per week superintendent calls; instructional, daily programming on PBS and companion teacher, student and family guides; free access for all families to early childhood platform ReadyRosie; SchoolMealFinder website for families to locate meal services; a STE(A)M Resource Hub; as well as federal waivers with a focus on nutrition, accountability, and special education.
The Department of Education will continually update guidance to school districts posted on its website: https://www.tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/update-on-coronavirus.html