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Putnam Makes No Changes To Remote Learning Plan

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Makes No Changes To Remote Learning Plan

The Putnam County Schools will not make any changes to its remote learning plan for the spring.

That means students cannot change from in-person to virtual learning. Any of the 1,230 students currently working virtually have one chance to go back to in-person learning. After that decision, they will remain in-school for the rest of the school year.

Putnam County Schools Coordinated Health Supervisor Melanie Bussell said the virtual learning experience has improved. But like in-person learning, it requires engagement between students, parents and teachers.

“We have our group of folks who call and check on kids, they zoom with kids, we are constantly trying to offer support for families, but it does fall on parents to make sure kids are logging in, zooming in with their teacher,” Bussell said.

Bussell said the move to separating teachers by in-person and virtual teaching has also improved the experience dramatically.

“We’ve worked on that and that’s relieved a lot of pressure on some teachers,” Bussell said. “So we’re very thankful that we’ve been able to do that.”

School Board Member Kim Cravens said despite what some on social media suggest, the system remains committed to keeping students in school.

As of Thursday, 11 percent of the system’s student body is virtual with 320 in elementary schools, 370 in middle schools and 540 in the three high schools. The system began with 2,300 virtual learners in August.

“No matter how good our virtual plan is and I believe it’s very good, we recognize that for most all students that in-person learning is the best,” School Board Chair Lynn McHenry said. “And that is our standard, that’s what we strive to have, all our kids back in the classroom and that’s what we hope for very soon.”

Bussell said a total of 581 students, staff and faculty have dealt with COVID since the school year began. 20 of those contracted the virus at school or through school activities. Some 3,100 system members have been quarantined.

Director Of Schools Corby King said the system agreed to review its remote learning plan in December when the system set forth on its fall strategy.


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