TN Gov. recommends schools remain closed for the rest of the school year

WATCH: Mississippi schools will remain closed but distance learning will continue, governor says

TENNESSEE — Governor Bill Lee does not want students returning to the classroom this school year.

“In order to keep every Tennessean safe during this pandemic, I am recommending that schools remain closed through the end of this school year. We’re working with the Tennessee Department of Education and local leaders to ensure there is flexibility for districts to complete critical year-end activities,” Gov. Lee said on Twitter.

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This comes on the heels of the number of cases of coronavirus reaching more than 6,000.

The state has also created The COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force which will be led by Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

Shortly after Gov. Lee made the announcement, Commissioner Schwinn took to social media and released the following:

“Proud to be a part of this work, supporting our children’s wellbeing while continuing to support their academic progress. Over the coming weeks, we will convene a task force to consider critical issues like nutrition, health, & services to support the work our schools do every day.”

Bill Lee was the last of the Mid-South governors to make an announcement regarding the rest of the school year.

Both the Arkansas and Mississippi governors have already closed school buildings.

Below is a list of how Mid-South school districts are reacting to the recommendation

Shelby County Schools

SCS officials announced schools and district offices will be closed for the rest of the year.

Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray issued a statement after the governor’s announcement.

The statement said:

“Today, we released our “Roadmap to Continuous Learning.” Our team has worked diligently over the last several weeks to develop these strategies, and just as we have since I announced the closure of the District on March 12, 2020, our focus remains on keeping students safe and providing learning opportunities that meet their academic and social-emotional needs.”

Achievement School District

In alignment with Governor Lee’s recommendation, all ASD schools will close for the remainder of the school year.

Arlington Community Schools

ACS closed for the remainder of the academic year.

A statement reads in part:

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.

You can read more here.

Collierville Schools

Collierville Schools will remain closed through May 22, the last day of the school year.

More on the coronavirus across the Mid-South Below:

The impact of the novel coronavirus is being felt all across the Mid-South where new cases are being announced every day and new steps are being taken to help limit the spread. Keep checking back for the latest COVID-19 updates throughout the day.

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