Coronavirus and WCS Updated FAQs
Last Updated 5/13/2020
To help answer questions parents may have about the Coronavirus, the Tennessee Department of Health launched a Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line. The hotline number is 877-857-2945 and will be available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
How is the district preparing for the 2020-21 school year?
A remote learning team made up of school principals and leaders in curriculum, instruction, technology, special education, professional development, operations and administration have been working together to assess technology and internet accessibility for students; make sure teachers have the tools they need to be successful; and build school schedules for all grade levels. This work will continue through the summer as educators prepare for a number of scenarios to include instruction in the building, through distance learning or a combination of both. All teachers will be trained on the learning management system, such as Google Classroom or Schoology, their school will use next fall before students return in August.
Is the district providing professional development to our teachers?
Yes. Early in May, teachers began taking advantage of professional development sessions, offered through videoconferencing, to learn more about Google Classroom and Schoology, the learning management systems they will be using to instruct students next year. Other topics teachers are learning about include: Classroom Management with Chromebooks, Creating a Positive Environment for Learning, Equitable and Fair: Reaching All Learners and more. More than 100 unique activities, each with different target audiences to meet the specific needs of teachers, are being offered during May and June.
What type of SACC is being offered this summer?
The Williamson County Schools School Age Child Care program will provide services at some sites over the summer. SACC launched a pilot child care program for essential workers on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at Clovercroft and Thompson’s Station elementary schools allowing SACC workers to navigate the implementation of newly required safety protocols and evaluate the sustainability of SACC programming. SACC will expand child care services weekly during the summer, beginning May 26, following the CDC and local health department guidelines.
While the current childcare COVID-19 restrictions prohibit the traditional summer camp programming of past summers, SACC will offer child care services to as many families as possible. SACC summer camp registration fees will be refunded, and those who wish to receive child care services should follow the instructions in the email sent by SACC to families. SACC will follow the CDC guidelines for childcare centers and make sure staff has the needed personal protective equipment and supplies at each location.
Is your internet slowing down or are you getting kicked off of applications like Zoom?
Here are some suggestions to help you:
- Restart your home network.
- Check the speed of your network using an app like “Speedcheck Internet Speed Test.” If your speed doesn’t match your internet plan, contact your service provider.
- Check the devices you have online in your home. If devices are on and connected to your network they could be pulling bandwidth from your network.
- Check the age of your modem and router. Modems and routers should be replaced every three to four years. Many service providers offer the ability to upgrade modems and routers.
Is the district making plans for virtual schooling for the Fall Semester, should schools be closed again?
With the unpredictability of COVID-19, WCS is preparing for the variety of possibilities that we might be facing this Fall – from continued complete school closures to a full return to campus and other possibilities in between. At this point, no plans have been shared by the State regarding what may be allowed regarding distance or remote learning, grading, attendance or what might constitute a school day in case another school closure is necessary. Currently, the State of Tennessee requires a 6.5 hour school day, so WCS’ plans for remote learning are being made to prepare for that existing standard. WCS plans to have direct, live instruction on our campuses as much as the health authorities’ restrictions allow, but we are also planning for distance learning using online and remote platforms that can be applied to daily instruction in the event we face another school closure.
Is it true that we will have Summer School and/or go back to school early this Fall?
Summer School for middle school students will take place this summer with the exception that it will be conducted online instead of as a traditional face-to-face session. High School Credit Recovery will also continue both online and at school sites in groups smaller than 10 beginning June 1. The 2020-21 school year is scheduled to begin on August 7 as approved by the School Board earlier this year.
Is it true that WCS Elementary teachers were told that they cannot contact students?
No. Elementary teachers have been communicating with students in a variety of ways since schools were closed to the pandemic. Teachers may be connecting with students through email, phone calls, Google Classroom, video conferencing, personal notes, etc.
When will kindergarten registration take place?
Kindergarten registration will take place online beginning Monday, May 4. More information can be found in InFocus.
When is the new graduation window?
Many seniors and their parents participated in a survey regarding graduation with 85 percent of those who participated indicating a preference for an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020. New graduation dates, times and locations have been established!
Will the WCS Encore program or Fairview O.N.E. be held this summer?
No. Encore camps in Williamson County have been cancelled for this summer. Over the next few weeks, full refunds will be given to those who have paid either a deposit or paid in full. Refunds will be issued as a check to the registering parent. Fairview O.N.E. has also been cancelled. We hope to have summer programs in the future.
What about the CTE Girls TEC Camp and the CTE TECH Camp, will those be held?
No. The CTE Girls TEC Camp and the CTE TECH Camp camps in Williamson County have been cancelled for this summer. Full refunds will be mailed. Please contact Paula Chilton in CTE with questions.
What other summer programs have been cancelled?
The Franklin High School/Service King Collision Repair Summer Program has been cancelled as well.
We just moved to the area, and I want to enroll my child in school. Since schools are closed, what can I do?
Please contact the principal of your zoned school. The email address or phone number can be found on the school’s webpage.
When can I register my child for kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year?
The district plans to begin online enrollment for kindergarten students on May 4. We will share more information in the district’s email newsletter, InFocus, and on our social media channels when it becomes available.
I heard sports are cancelled for the remainder of the year. Is that true?
Yes. The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, TSSAA, announced yesterday that all spring sports and the boys and girl basketball state tournaments would be cancelled after Governor Lee recommended that all schools be closed for the remainder of the school year.
I am curious why the teachers are not allowed to do Zoom calls with their class?
After a successful pilot program using Zoom as a videoconferencing tool in some of our schools, Zoom has been approved for use at the middle and high school levels, and it will be part of a pilot program at Lipscomb Elementary School beginning next week. To learn more about how videoconferencing will be used in WCS, visit the Remote Learning and Grading Plan. Then select the Remote Learning and Videoconferencing Guidelines at the bottom of the page.
What action did the State Board of Education take regarding grades for students this year?
On April 9, 2020, the State Board of Education established that high school students are to receive no grade lower than the grade they earned in the course as of March 20, 2020, the day the Governor recommended all schools close. Because March 6 was WCS’ first day of closure, WCS students, grades 2-12 per Board policy 4.600, will receive no final grade lower than what was earned through completed assignments and assessments as of March 6, 2020, but there will be opportunities to improve that grade.
Since school ended abruptly, my child didn’t have time to bring up his math grade for third quarter and now that will be his semester grade. Does he have options for raising his grade?
Students have several opportunities to improve their grade to include resubmitting missed assignments from the third quarter; demonstrating knowledge of third quarter standards through remote learning; or completing fourth quarter resources, activities or assignments to show evidence of learning third quarter standards. No student shall receive a grade lower than the grade earned in any course as of March 6.
Are try-outs for sports or other extracurriculars being held while schools are closed?
No new try-outs are taking place at this time. Schools will communicate try-out opportunities for next year’s extracurricular activities when they are scheduled.
What counseling resources are available for my student?
Visit Counselors’ Corner for counseling resources for your elementary, middle or high schooler.
How can I find out more about State testing?
The Tennessee Department of Education has posted an Assessment and Accountability FAQ: COVID-19 Guidance document on their website under Closure Guidance and FAQs during this time.
Will students with disabilities get 3rd quarter progress reports?
Our Superintendent of Schools and Board have elected to close schools through April 24, 2020 to protect the safety and wellness of our students and staff. You would typically receive an IEP Progress Report (Third Quarter) during this time. Because schools are closed, we are not able to access the records needed to develop progress reports. Accordingly, we will provide the progress reports to you as quickly as possible once schools have re-opened.
What do I do if I have a student that was in the evaluation process for initial eligibility or re-evaluation?
WCS is following the state guidance that direct assessments with students are delayed until school returns. At this time, WCS is closed until April 24, 2020 to protect the health, safety and wellness of our students and staff. The state has granted timeline extensions for evaluations that exceed the original 60 calendar days. Our staff will be working hard to ensure that your child’s evaluation is completed in a timely manner, honoring new guidance, when school resumes.
What resources are WCS putting together for students with disabilities?
We have included special education teachers and gifted teachers in the planning/review of the optional resources prepared by teacher teams at all levels. In addition, the SSS department has an Accessibility & Accommodations Resource Guide for students and families that cover topics in areas such as speech, language, reading/ELA/writing, math, fine motor, gross motor, early childhood, sensory, assistive technology, hearing, vision, behavior/social skills. These include accommodation ideas, accessibility resources, and modified content activities. This resource guide is located on the WCS website with all of the resource documents for the closure.
Can special educators provide IEP services for my child?
WCS has provided optional resources for parents that include accessibility guidance, typical accommodations provided to students, and also resources to supplement the content in your child’s class link account. Through April 24, 2020 our school district is closed. Our SSS staff is working together with all district staff to continue to provide accessible optional resources and materials for all students.
Your child’s special educator is accessible to answer questions and assist you in connecting to resources that the district has provided.
What about Junior ACT Testing?
Students nearing graduation are given two free opportunities to take the ACT during the school day at their high school, first in the spring of their junior year and then a retake in the fall of their senior year. Because of the extended school closings, the scheduled spring testing for the graduating class of 2021 was canceled.
The Tennessee Department of Education worked with ACT to come up with make-up options so the class of 2021 would still have these two free opportunities. WCS students will have one testing opportunity during the school day in the fall of their senior year. There will be an additional make up opportunity for students to take the test mid year. Specific dates have not been determined and will be communicated when known.
Students wanting to take the ACT prior to the October date may register for a national test date on their own. Students can register for the June 13 or July 18 administrations. Students can also register for the September 12 administration later this summer. Eligible students may have most fees waived for national dates.
Last Updated 4/1/2020
Why isn’t distance learning offered by the district?
Although some parents, students and teachers may be capable of participating in structured online classes with required attendance and grades, many of our students and families are not able to do that. While WCS can provide resources, support and teacher recommendations for use of the robust materials our teacher teams have prepared, we recognize that with varied student and teacher needs, it’s not appropriate to hold everyone accountable. However, we are committed to providing students distance resources to continue their learning to the best of their ability as our teachers and staff provide support and access to the resources in the best way for everyone. Teachers are available to give guidance to individual students in use of these materials.
I have some concerns about my student. Who should I contact?
Especially during this uncertain time, parents should continue to follow the same best practices when communicating about their child: if a parent has a concern about their child or the online resources available, the parent should contact their child’s teacher first. The teacher knows your child best and may be able to offer additional guidance. If a parent needs information that the teacher cannot provide, the parent should reach out to the principal. Parents and students should utilize the WCS MyPlace email accounts, Skyward, Google Classroom, phone or Schoology to reach their teachers or administrators.
What if my child goes through all of the resources posted?
Teachers and curriculum specialists will continue to update resources and explore other ways to keep students engaged while they are away from school. Additional resources will be shared regularly. Also, be sure and check your child’s ClassLink dashboard for updated resources and communicate with your child’s teacher. Many teachers are adding resources to their Google Classrooms.
I’m overwhelmed and I feel like my child is falling behind. What can I do to help my child?
Reach out to your child’s teacher. Your child’s teacher knows how to best support you and your child. Teachers want to be able to help during this time and can help your child with any challenges presented by the instructional resources. Remember that these resources are a way to help you keep your child engaged, keeping the mind active and growing during the time we are closed. There is no work required, and teachers will build on your child’s skills based on their skill level when we return to school. Our teachers are available to connect with and assist their students in a variety of ways, and our school principals are as well. Parents and students should utilize the WCS MyPlace email accounts, Skyward, Google Classroom, phone or Schoology to reach their teachers or administrators.
Why aren’t students being graded during this time?
Because of this pandemic, many families in our County, State and Nation are experiencing an uncertainty never experienced. While some teachers may be able to provide regular, structured online classes with attendance and grades and some students might be capable of participating, many of our students, families and staff are not able to do that. Because not all students can adhere to the standard that graded online classes would bring and because some grades therefore might be adversely affected by use of an unfamiliar platform, no attendance will be required and no grades will be given. However, WCS has provided a robust variety of resources for all students to use at a pace appropriate to that individual student. We know that with varied student, family and teacher needs during this time while schools are closed in Tennessee, it’s not appropriate to hold everyone accountable.
Will WCS change graduation requirements this year?
We expect the Tennessee State Board of Education to discuss graduation requirements and adjustments to those at its meeting April 9. Then, our Board may need to address its Board Policy in April after the State guidance. We will update you after those meetings.
Will WCS students have an extended school year since we have been out so long?
Since the Tennessee Legislature waived the required number of school days due the Coronavirus, the Williamson County Board of Education voted at its meeting March 30 to approve the State waiver of school days, ending the school year on May 21 which is the day listed on our 2019-20 adopted calendar. Currently, per Governor Lee’s request, WCS is closed through April 24.
Why can’t we use school playgrounds?
Governor Lee’s Executive Order #22 specifically addressed playgrounds stating “…that congregating or playing on playgrounds presents a unique risk for the spread of COVID-19 and is therefore not covered as an Essential Activity.” Thus, to honor these healthcare directives, WCS playgrounds are not to be used, and we are asking members of the community to not congregate on school district property at this time.
I heard that teachers can use Zoom to teach students. Is that true?
The district is evaluating Zoom as another resource available to teachers and students. International Baccalaureate teachers will be using Zoom with their students over this week and next, testing both accessibility and some Zoom safety settings. The district will determine if it is a tool that can be used for all students. Decisions on its use will be made after that evaluation.
Last Updated 3/26/2020
How do I know what my student should be working on while we are out of school?
WCS Curriculum Specialist and Teachers prepared resources and activities for all students. That information can be found here: Learning Resources Spring 2020.
With schools closed for an extended time, will there be State testing this school year?
No. The Tennessee General Assembly passed HB2818/ SB2672, which waives state assessment and accountability requirements, including the 2019-20 spring administration of the TNReady and end-of-course assessments.
When will kindergarten registration take place?
Early registration for 2020-21 kindergarten has been postponed at all schools. When the registration window opens, we will share that information on our website, social media channels and through our online newsletter, InFocus.
How to Acquire a Chromebook (Pickup Schedule beginning March 26) or Assistive Technology
For students who don’t have at least one available device at home to access the internet, the WCS Technology Department is preparing Chromebooks for curbside pickup at multiple locations. High School pickup will begin March 26, with middle pickup on March 30, and elementary pickup on April 1. Schools will communicate the pickup schedule and process.
Assistive Technology (AT) devices used by students during school will be made accessible through check out.
If your child may have accessibility issues for the optional educational resources due to a disability that may warrant the need for assistive technology, please email Kim Palmer or call 615-472-4132.
What happens to my third quarter grade? If I have an assignment from third quarter that I haven’t turned in, can I still do it?
Assignments that were given and were due prior to school closing for this extended period should be submitted to your teacher for a grade. Third quarter grades are not final and will remain incomplete at this time.
I am concerned about my high school student’s future classwork. What is the plan?
Middle and high school students will soon be able to access specific resources for every course taught at the secondary level. Teachers of each course from every school are working together with WCS curriculum specialists to create shared Google sites which will contain resources for that particular course. The Google sites will be released by the end of the day on Thursday, March 26 and updated systematically during the complete school closure. That process will be repeated for each course taught at the middle and high school level, and the resources will be organized by course standard. Teacher leaders will continuously update the Google sites for the duration of the school closure.
Through this process, teachers will be available to help in a variety of ways. They will be communicating with students and families through WCS myplace email accounts, Skyward, Google Classroom, telephone (as needed), and Schoology (only for those trained and using Schoology already). School counselors will also continue their work with students and may schedule individual phone conferences with students and parents on topics such as school registration and post-secondary plans.
What will happen for students transferring in who do not have an assigned teacher or ClassLink account?
If someone doesn’t have a computer or internet access, will we be providing the computers we have to these students?
Our Technology Department is preparing Chromebooks for students who need them during this time. More information will be shared later this week. Also, many private providers are currently offering free internet access. Check out our webpage https://www.wcs.edu/student-resources/ for information on some of those providers.
Are the resources posted on your website considered assignments for the students? Or will each of their teachers be posting assignments on Google Classroom soon?
The resources listed on the Student Resources page of our website are not assignments. No grades will be given for the work that is done.
I visited the Student Resources page on the website and noticed when you click on the link and try to click on the Math K-5 resources, it doesn’t link you anywhere. Could it not link you to your ClassLink log-in?
Some of these are resources that require a separate log-in (the district subscribes to them). You must logon to the ClassLink Dashboard first. From there, you will see the icons for each individual resource we have listed.
Have Superintendent Golden and Franklin Special School District Superintendent David Snowden talked about their approaches? Isn’t what FSSD is doing the same thing that we are doing: providing resources now, and then having teachers come in and develop grade level lessons?
WCS Superintendent Jason Golden and FSSD Superintendent Dr. David Snowden have communicated about their plans during this crisis. WCS was closed a few more days than FSSD during March because the early impact of a school visitor who had COVID-19, but both districts made the decision to close through April 3 after speaking to each other. WCS has grade level resources posted for students now, available through students’ ClassLink accounts. https://www.wcs.edu/student-resources/. Groups of teachers are working the week of March 23 to add to that content, with specific materials at the elementary grades emphasizing math and ELA (English); middle school content in math, ELA, science and social studies; and course specific content for each high school course offered at the middle and high school levels. As these materials are prepared this week, they will be shared through google sites.
Are we going to have an extended school year?
As of March 23, school is set to resume April 27. With that said, this is a fluid situation, and we will continue to monitor the situation and seek guidance from Governor Bill Lee, the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Department of Health and the Williamson County Department of Health in the days ahead.
Are students going to be able to get stuff from our classrooms/lockers if school ends up closing?
Schools will work with families to determine when students can pick up essential items that are needed to complete the online work.
Who do I contact if I am not getting notifications about school closings?
If you are no longer receiving school closure alerts, please contact the WCS Communications Department at 615-472-4030. We will also alert the public anytime there is a school closure by posting that information on the district’s Facebook page, Twitter account and our mobile app.
How does a student get a hard copy of their transcript or attendance record.
The first step is to call the school to set up a time to pick up the documents. Not all schools will be staffed and able to accommodate the request.
How are you handling athletic and arts events, practices, field trips, etc.?
All WCS athletics and arts events and field trips are currently cancelled. This cancellation is for events, field trips, and practices held on or off campus under the supervision of WCS.
Are outside groups still able to use WCS facilities?
Faculty use requests from community groups using campuses are currently suspended.