Inglewood Elementary student

An Inglewood Elementary student in February

Tuesday’s Metro Nashville Public Schools board meeting provided detailed clarifications regarding the COVID-19 guidelines and expectations for the upcoming school year.

Following CDC guidance, MNPS will not require students or faculty to wear masks this year. Masks are, however, still strongly encouraged, especially for students and faculty who aren’t vaccinated. As of now, children younger than 12 are not eligible for any type of COVID-19 vaccination, which means elementary students and some middle schoolers are at higher risk of receiving and spreading COVID-19. 

MNPS is also asking schools to encourage social distancing whenever possible. Because maintaining a six-foot distance is not viable in schools, the CDC has indicated that students should aim to stay at least three feet apart from one another. MNPS is also asking schools to be mindful of social distancing at group events like lunches or other large gatherings. 

Outside visitors will be prohibited unless attending for specific educational reasons, such as tutoring or classroom support. Third parties may use MNPS facilities when school is not in session. 

Contact-tracing efforts are to be spearheaded by school nurses. Those who have been vaccinated will not have to quarantine if they’ve come into contact with COVID-19, nor will those who have maintained three to six feet distances from infected persons. Though random testing will no longer be implemented, nurses will be able to administer rapid COVID-19 tests. 

Despite the relaxed guidelines, MNPS “will continue to monitor community transmission rates as well as COVID cases in our schools to determine whether mandatory mask requirements are necessary,” according to a slideshow presentation from the school board meeting.

See more on the MNPS COVID-19 protocols here.

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