Note: This story was updated at 12 p.m.
Oak Ridge Schools will be closed through at least April 15, Superintendent Bruce Borchers said Tuesday.
Students were scheduled to retun to school next week after a two-week spring break that ends Friday. But Tennessee Governor Bill Lee had asked all school districts to close through at least Tuesday, March 31. It’s not clear if that statewide closure will be extended.
In the meantime, Borchers said Oak Ridge Schools intends to use 10 days that it has stockpiled for snow and emergencies to extend its closure through at least Tuesday, April 14. That means the earliest that students will return is Wednesday, April 15.
Last week, Oak Ridge Schools announced the closure of schools and school buildings during spring break and continuing through at least March 31, and the end of extracurricular activities and practices, at least for now.
Borchers said Tennessee legislators in an education committee voted on a proposal this week to ensure that no schools or students are adversely affected because of school closures, student absenteeism, or other hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Following the passage of this bill, Oak Ridge Schools will not administer the 2019-20 TNReady and end-of course assessments,” Borchers said. “Oak Ridge schools will seek multiple waivers for numerous requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. A full list of these can be found on our website.
“In the event that schools are required to close for an extended period due to COVID-19, we want to continue to support quality learning opportunities for student success. More information will be shared about our plans in the near future.”
Borchers said he and his executive team have been meeting virtually to “discuss the ever-changing landscape” in the state, country, and world.
The school system has been working with the Anderson County Health Department and participating in numerous calls with Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn, Borchers said.
He encouraged people to visit the school system’s Web page for coronavirus updates and follow the district on social media: Twitter: @ORSchools; Facebook: @OakRidgeSchoolsTN; and Instagram: ORSchools. The Tennessee Department of Education has a Web page with coronavirus updates as well.
See Borchers’ announcement here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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