By Dave Barkholz

If and how Dickson County school children return to the classroom this fall is still very much up in the air.
But planning is underway.
Director Danny Weeks said options for the start of school August 1 range from a normal return to the classroom for all 8,000 district students to a stay-at-home situation requiring online learning.
The district also is preparing for one-third to half of students and staff rotating through the classrooms depending on social-distancing guidelines that are in place statewide.
Weeks notified parents, students and guardians of the preparations in a letter Friday.
To assure that all students can learn online under scenarios of stay-at-home or rotating through school, the district has purchased enough Chromebooks for every student.
Dickson County Schools also has started placing WiFi hotspots around the county, mostly at host churches, where parents can bring students to study online. About 30% of Dickson County is without Internet service.
Weeks said the administrative preparations for fall should be ready by June 5 and sent along to building principals and teachers for their preparations.
“We’re in the education business so we fully believe students are at their best and we are at our best teaching when students are in school, in their regular classrooms before a regularly licensed teacher,” Weeks said.
“But the events of this Spring have caused us to look at that and we’re only going to do that if we are safe.”

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