OR School Board OKs staggered schedules for return to class

Oak Ridge School Administration Building

The Oak Ridge Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday in favor of a plan for reopening schools that includes a staggered schedule for middle and high school students.

Some students will attend school on Monday and Thursday while others will attend on Tuesday and Friday.

A cornerstone of the plan puts an emphasis on keeping class sizes small.

The school system conducted a survey for parents in June that helped them create the plan, details of which you can see on our website. .

Oak Ridge Schools Preschool

Glenwood, Linden, Willow Brook, and Woodland Elementary Schools (Grades PreK-4)

The first day of preschool will be Thursday, July 30th.

The first day of elementary school will be Wednesday, July 29th.

Oak Ridge’s preschool and elementary schools will be opening with the safety guidelines in place as outlined in Option 1 of its initial reopening plan (available at www.ortn.edu), with students attending 5 days per week. Data shows that students in this age group are the least affected by the virus. Classes in the elementary schools are self-contained, the population of the elementary schools are roughly half the size of middle schools, and are generally smaller than in the city’s secondary schools.

Jefferson and Robertsville Middle Schools (Grades 5-8)

The first day of middle school will be Thursday, July 30th.

Thursday and Friday will now be full days.

Oak Ridge’s two middle schools will be implementing a new staggered reopening plan, in which half of the students will attend classes in person on Mondays and Thursdays, and the other half of students will attend classes in person on Tuesdays and Fridays. This will reduce class sizes to half capacity. Students will participate in virtual learning on the three remaining days each week that they do not attend in person on campus.

Oak Ridge High School (Grades 9-12)

The first day of high school will be Wednesday, July 29th, and will be an abbreviated day.

Thursday and Friday will be full days.

Students at oak Ridge High School will also be implementing a new staggered reopening plan, in which half of the students will attend classes in person on Mondays and Thursdays, and the other half of students will attend classes in person on Tuesdays and Fridays. This will reduce class sizes to half capacity. On Wednesdays, staff will offer additional face-to-face support as needed. Students will participate in virtual learning on the three remaining days each week that they do not attend in person on campus.

On the system’s website, Superintendent Bruce Borchers writes: “Administrators from each school will be releasing specific adjustments to their plans in the near future, so we wanted to make families aware that the staggered reopening schedule will begin next week. Please watch our COVID-19 web page for building-specific information about this adjustment to the reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year.”

Officials will monitor student and staff attendance, substitute teacher fill rates, and health department information to determine if schools need to shift to either virtual learning or having students attend on a regular 5 day a week schedule.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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