COVID Protocols 2021-22

Commonsense COVID Protocols in Place for 2021-22 School Year
Posted on 07/13/2021

UPDATED on August 5, 2021 following Board approval of mask requirement*

As we approach the start of the 2021-22 school year on August 10, Metro Nashville Public Schools has released protocols for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and keeping students, staff, and families safe while understanding how public health circumstances have changed over the past 12 months.

*The Metro Nashville Board of Education has adopted a universal mask requirement for all students, staff, and visitors until further notice. This includes buses and all indoor spaces. Masks will not be required outdoors. Face masks will be provided at your school if your student needs one. 

This requirement is consistent with Mayor John Cooper’s Executive Order 21 mandating masks in Metro Government facilities. It is also aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, which call for a universal mask requirement in all K-12 facilities due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the spread of the more contagious delta variant. 

MNPS also will direct schools to continue to find opportunities to encourage and promote social distancing whenever possible to reduce the chances of spreading the virus or requiring close-contact quarantines. New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says three feet of distance is a good standard for schools. The district is asking schools to orient classrooms and desks to maximize distance or create smaller group clusters.

School nurses also will continue to conduct contact tracing and will be able to conduct COVID rapid tests on an as-needed basis. Permission forms will be included in the 2021-22 Student-Parent Handbook.

The CDC has updated its guidance on who qualifies as a “close contact” for contact tracing. A close contact has traditionally been defined as someone within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. The new CDC guidelines state that in the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition now excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of infected students if both were wearing masks correctly. Additionally, students or staff who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be required to quarantine unless they present symptoms of the virus.

Vaccines are currently available for anyone 12 years and older, and clinical trials are ongoing to gain FDA approval for children under the age of 12. MNPS has partnered with the Metro Public Health Department to offer vaccine clinics for 7th-graders seeking their TDAP vaccines and will continue to find opportunities to make vaccines easily accessible for parents wishing to inoculate themselves or their students against the coronavirus.

The district also will continue to limit visitors to schools, although those who are visiting for an educational purpose, such as mentors, tutors, advisors, and others offering classroom support, will be allowed. Outside groups also will be able to use school facilities when students are not in classes.

All visitors will be required* to wear masks while in schools and other MNPS buildings.

Read the full list of COVID protocols for the 2021-22 school year

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