Oak Ridge Schools says it may need to switch to staggered schedule for elementary students

Oak Ridge Schools is asking parents of elementary school students to prepare for a staggered schedule, as it finds social distancing isn’t possible.

The district already uses a staggered schedule for middle school and high school students.

The schools said it received information from the Anderson County health department about proper quarantine protocols. This means any student or staff who comes in close contact with an infected individual must quarantine for 14 days. Close contact is defined as being less than 6 feet away from someone for more than 10 minutes. 

“Given the updated guidelines from the Tennessee State Health Department, we are concerned that consistent social distancing of our students is not possible under our current plan due to limited space,” director of schools Bruce Borchers said in a letter to families Monday. “We are further concerned that the new guidelines have the potential to lead to many students and staff being required to complete a 14-day quarantine.”

The district said it will notify parents as soon as possible if a change is needed. 

“We realize that such a change will create a challenge for our elementary families and will not make this change unless it is deemed essential.”

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