Bartlett schools offering virtual learning for students in quarantine

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BARTLETT, Tenn. — Bartlett City Schools will now provide a virtual learning option for students who have to quarantine because of COVID-19.

The measure was unanimously passed by the school board during a meeting Thursday night. 

“It means that they would be doing the work of the regular class,” Superintendent Dr. David Stephens said. “They would be graded for it and they would not be counted as absent.”

Some parents support the program while others are frustrated with the quarantine policy.

“I’m here in an attempt to keep my son safe and to keep their staff members, their peers, their teachers and everyone in this community safe,” one parent said.

“I can’t provide for my family if I have to watch my son for 14 days and neither can my wife,” another parent said. “We both work. We can’t do this. It’s insane!”

Tennessee lawmakers prohibited most forms of virtual learning earlier this year, but Bartlett district officials say this program is allowed because it’s only for quarantining students who got back into the classroom once they’re clear.

Officials also say the program follows guidelines from the State Board of Education.

“This does not get us around the governor’s order,” Stephens said. “That state board has allowed this.”

Officials couldn’t tell us how many students are currently in quarantine, but they say only 39 students of the district’s roughly 8,500 have tested positive for COVID.

Other area districts like Shelby County Schools are offering similar programs.

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