THANK YOU for the many positive responses received from our last district update that centered around close contact tracing. Based on that feedback, I wanted to assure everyone that most parents were already doing the right thing when faced with real or suspected COVID cases. Each school has a number of protocols in place to assist families - helping ensure a quick and effective response. We welcome calls from families who are unsure about procedures and encourage everyone to use the MCS DECISION TREE as a starting point for all COVID-related questions. https://bit.ly/31SiIjV

We also want to take this opportunity to thank our custodial staff and teachers for their efforts in keeping our schools clean and sanitized. During the winter months, all schools are focused on cleanliness and mitigating the spread of germs. Operating a school during a pandemic raises that bar to a whole new level and we appreciate the extra effort.

With regard to positive COVID cases in the district, you probably know that we report cases daily to our local newspaper and share data weekly with the Tennessee Department of Education. The two weeks prior to Fall Break included our best statistics to date. Since fall break we have reported a total of 22 positive student cases. Sixteen of the 22 cases were at Maryville High School. We hope our request to stay home if waiting for the results of a test (either symptomatic or non-symptomatic) will result in decreased numbers during November and December.

Our schools will continue to follow the Tennessee Department of Health guidelines as directed. With help from parents, students, and staff, we feel very encouraged about our educational model and the next six weeks until Winter Break. We have been successful in adjusting our educational model at the class level and if needed, would adjust at the grade, school, or district level as well. Should things change, you will be the first to know. Thanks again for your support and cooperation as we work through this pandemic together. Let's all stay hopeful for better days in 2021.

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