John Sevier Elementary

2020-2021 School Re-Opening Plan

Back to School 2020-2021

Dear JSE families,

The Maryville City Leadership team has been carefully and thoughtfully planning the reopening of schools for the 20-21 school year. We appreciate your most recent feedback and have added some additional information that has been added in italics. Based on this feedback, we have identified the changes that we need to implement to better meet our students' social, emotional, educational, and safety needs and families.

The JSE specific plan (below) is based on the common tenets that all MCS elementary schools will implement for the next school year but considers our school-specific traditions, events, and activities. This reopening plan outlines how some policies and procedures will change or be altered in light of COVID-19.

To begin, we will be implementing the following MCS District-Wide Protocols:

  • Increased deep cleaning practices.
  • Hand sanitizing stations at various locations and increased handwashing throughout the day
  • Every student and adult will have their temperature checked daily; additional checks as needed. The frequency of temperature checks will be modified according to school site data analysis. Daily, for the remainder of the school year, adult temperatures will be checked.
  • Students with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be isolated and sent home. Please see MCS Health Services COVID-19 Management Plan from district communication.
  • Reducing social interactions by having students travel in cohort groups.
  • Only essential and pre-approved visitors will be allowed.Those approved are required to wear a mask.
  • Careful thought on school-wide events and field trips

We will continue to be consistent and transparent in our communication with you as local, state, and federal guidelines may change and cause us to modify or adjust our plans, policies, and procedures. Please understand that as guidelines and best practices change, we will modify and adjust our plans accordingly.

The following will outline how things will look a little different as we plan for our reopening.

Newsletter Content

Important Dates
Health & Hygiene

Mask Guidelines

Arrival & Dismissal

School Day

School-Wide or Grade Level Events

New Faces for 20-21

Final Comments

Important Dates

June 29th - MCS Parent Update #3 released with DRAFT PLANS for review.

July 8th - 12th - JSE parents and families will receive a short survey about selecting the appropriate educational option (DIGITAL or TRADITIONAL) for each student.

July 16th - Early Bird Registration/JSE Office opens

July 24th - Registration Day

July 27th - 20-21 Class Lists released/posted

July 29th - July 30th - Kindergarten Screening

July 30th - JSE First Day of School for Grades 1-3

August 10th - JSE Digital Instruction begins/First Day of School for Kindergarten

Health & Hygiene

Increased Cleaning & Sanitizing

  • Increased handwashing and teaching of proper handwashing techniques
  • Elevated cleaning of high touch areas
  • Daily Health Checks for students, faculty, and staff
  • Portable hand sanitizer units in hallways and main entrances
  • Hand sanitizer readily available in classrooms
  • Increased signage will be displayed with information about daily cleaning, reducing the spread of germs, and hand sanitizing.

Preventative Strategies

  • Our main office will be open to parents with inquiries, pick up their child, to teachers, substitute teachers for deliveries, and the late arrival of students.
  • ALL individuals will need to adhere to safety protocols, which will include a temperature check and use of hand sanitizer.
  • Parents or family members that drop off items throughout the day, such as lunch boxes or classroom snacks, will be able to drop them in the main vestibule/lobby. Our JSE office staff will be sure to get these items to your child.
  • Faculty & Staff will receive training on COVID-19 symptoms, and protocols will be provided.
  • Teachers will implement social distancing, strategic seating/grouping, and extra handwashing/hygiene as often and feasible as possible.

Mask Guidelines for Students, Faculty, and Staff

Every effort will be made in elementary (K-3) to keep students in small cohorts and minimize mixing between groups. Students are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering on buses, during congested transitions (changing classes, dismissal), and when working in close proximity environments, interactive student work sessions, etc.) Teachers will remind our students throughout the day during these identified times.


  • Students are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at all times. If you are planning to have your student wear a mask, please communicate with your child's teacher.
  • JSE faculty and staff members will strongly encourage, but not be held responsible for ensuring the mask is worn during the school day.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering on buses, during congested transitions (changing classes, dismissal), and when working in close proximity to peers and adults. We ask that parents support responsive mask wearing.

Faculty & Staff:

  • Faculty & Staff members conducting temperature checks must wear a mask at all times.
  • It is recommended that faculty & staff members ear a mask or face covering when physical distancing is difficult, such as when working with a student in close proximity (6 ft. or less) for more than 10 minutes, i.e., small group instruction.
  • Faculty & Staff members will be provided with masks and face shields.
  • All faculty and staff are required to wear a face covering in common areas, large gatherings, class changes, anytime outside their classroom, and in the classroom when they cannot social distance of at least 6 feet.

Arrival & Dismissal

Morning Arrival:

  • Before arriving at school or heading to the bus stop, we ask that you conduct a health check on your child(ren).
  • To accomplish this efficiently and safely, families bringing their students to school must remain in their vehicles and utilize the drop off lanes at the front of JSE.
  • When students arrive at school, they will have their temperature checked.
  • We will be using two entrances in the morning to increase efficiency in checking student temperatures upon arrival.
  • Parents and family members will not be able to walk their student(s) to the door, nor will they be allowed to enter the school building.
  • All students will exit from vehicles or buses where staff will receive them and conduct temperature checks.
  • Once your child's temperature has been taken, students who eat breakfast at school will go to the cafeteria, library, or gym. Faculty and staff will be present at all locations.


  • Students will walk to the buses or for parents to pick up with their teachers and teaching assistants.
  • Parents and families that walk up or park to pick up their K thru 2nd Grade students will be directed to a holding area in front of the kindergarten fence for (K-2nd Grade). Parents walking up to pick up 3rd-grade students will be directed to a holding area at that location as well.

During The School Day

  • Classrooms will be broken down or paired into "cohorts" classes that will travel together for lunch and recess.
  • Doorstops will be utilized to limit door handle contact.
  • Frequent cleaning will occur throughout the day of "high touch" areas.
  • Students will use supplies from their own "pencil box" rather than sharing communal supplies.
  • Families should provide their student(s) with a spill-proof water bottle from home. These water bottles can be refilled throughout the day as our water fountains will be turned off.
  • Teachers may be utilizing masks or face shields when working for an extended time with small groups.
  • Classrooms will be closed to volunteers, except by a pre-approval system with the school administrator. We still welcome your help and would love to send tasks home that you can complete for the classroom teachers.


  • Barcode IDs and scanners will be used for "contactless" payment in our cafeteria.
  • Students will sit in their assigned class groups.
  • The JSE cafeteria and courtyard will be closed to parents and outside guests. No lunch visitors.
  • ALL employees will wear masks and gloves in the dining and serving area.
  • Considerations may be made regarding the packaging of food served in the cafeteria, i.e., individual containers, grab-and-go, etc.
  • Self-serving for students and staff will no longer be an option.

After School Activities

  • JSE Intramurals will take place after school, i.e. running club; unicycle club. Supervising staff may be performing additional temperature checks.
  • The use of JSE facilities is closed for outside groups and organizations until after Labor Day.

School Wide or Grade level Events

  • Many annual school-wide events may be moved forward or delivered in a different format, such as virtually, or a revised schedule by cohorts. Details will be provided at a later date.
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Welcome these new faces to John Sevier Elementary!!

Please join us in welcoming the newest foxes in the JSE family!

Krystle Redley will be our new third-grade teacher! Krystle is a military wife, former JSE teaching assistant, and mother of two amazing CGIS students. She loves spending time with her family, adventuring in the great outdoors, and watching and playing ice hockey. Krystle believes that every child deserves a champion and that every child can succeed and grow!
Miranda Brakebill will be our new kindergarten teacher! Miranda is joining us from Loudon County schools, but she is a familiar face in our community. You may have seen her at the John Sevier Pool working with Parks & Rec, donating her time and skills with the Junior Service League of Blount County, or out about town with her family! Miranda brings experience, passion, and a love for students and teaching - we are excited to have her join the JSE family!
Heather Dillinger will be our new second-grade teacher! Heather is a very experienced and highly effective teacher with over 14 years of experience in the Loudon County School System. Heather wants the students in her classroom to be inspired and motivated to grow into kind, caring individuals with the tools to be tomorrow's leaders. Heather loves sports, travel, and helping others!
Allison Buck will be our new school psychologist. Formerly from the Boston area, Allison graduated with her Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Tennessee. Allison moved to Tennessee from Naples, FL where she had worked at a mental health center with children and adults. Allison started at MCS last year and came from Loudon County Schools . She will be working at both John Sevier Elementary and the Early Intervention Center. We are excited to have her join the JSE team!
Kali Niethammer will be the interim kindergarten teacher while Mrs. Wooliver is on maternity leave. Kali has three children ages six, three, and one, and loves to spend time with her family. Kali loves to be outdoors and the mountains are one of her favorite places. Kali says that she is beyond excited to be a part or our JSE team! Not only does Kali bring her passion for teaching and empathetic nature, but valuable teaching experiences with diverse populations. We are thrilled to have someone that so exemplifies the values and beliefs of John Sevier Elementary joining the K team, too!

Forward Together

Whatever the next year brings - we know this! When we open our doors on July 30th, we will welcome over 575 students. Our teaching staff remains committed to upholding high expectations and providing an excellent education to all students. Mr. Tinker and I will continue to provide effective leadership and communicate regularly via SeeSaw and our weekly Fox Newsletter.

We will move forward, locking arms and teaming up with each other, with our families, with our students, with our spouses, with our children, with our friends, with our parents, and with our community.

Take care and stay well,

Mrs. Brandee Easterly & Mr. Brian Tinker



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