Lee asks schools to close for remainder of school year

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn

On Wednesday, Governor Bill Lee recommended that all schools statewide remain closed for the 2019-2020 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,” Lee said during his daily update on the pandemic.

“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 Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

Schwinn also announced the creation of the of the COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force.

“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 wellbeing of Tennessee’s children.”

Commissioner Schwinn will be convening a COVID-19 Child Wellbeing 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.

Last week, the Tennessee Board of Education passed a rule that no high school students should receive a grade lower than the grade they earned in a class as of March 20.

Each school districts will make the final decision on whether or not to close, however, all districts have so far adhered to all of the governor’s recommendations.

Several school districts including Williamson, have already closed for the year.

As of press time, Nashville Metro Schools had not officially announced whether or not it would close schools.

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