Hawkins County BOE

Hawkins County Schools will open classes this week virtually with an introduction into virtual learning Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

The Hawkins County Board of Education Monday approved an updated calendar proposed by Director of Schools Matt Hixson that brought three in-service days from later in the year to the week of Aug. 10-14 to help teachers with virtual classroom training.

A previously scheduled virtual “Introduction to the School Year” is being held this week. According to Hixson, teachers will interact with students and parents to establish schedules, set criteria for learning, meet with students to ensure understanding of virtual set up and to help all involved to understand how classrooms will function.

There will be no session on Thursday, Election Day in the county, since many of the schools are polling places.

The system will begin on Aug. 17 in the “Red” Phase, meaning all instruction shifts to remote learning.

“When we come back to school, we’ll have anything they (every staff member and every student) need for recommended protection,” Hixson said. “Our obligation is to start instruction. We feel that our region and our state has agreed to look at several different data points. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Tennessee Department of Health and the State Department of Education have all provided resources that we are supposed to monitor pertinent to our region in making these decisions.

“We don’t feel that it is safe to bring everybody back in the classroom until the numbers at least consistently sustain themselves and/or drop. That’s why we made the decision to start instruction based on the (updated) calendar,” Hixson said.

The calendar passed with Chairman Chris Christian and members Bob Larkins, Kathy Cradic, Debbie Shedden, Judy Trent and Jackie Charles voting yes. Tecky Hicks was the lone no vote.