Nashville to begin school year with remote-learning only

Nashville, along with most of the world, is facing some Covid-19 uncertainties. One of these has been whether classes will be going back in a month in Nashville (they’re not, learned that a couple of hours ago,) and the other is how remote learning is actually going to work in a city in which a large portion of the children do not have internet and have not had access since libraries closed in March.

There had been talk of parents having an option for in person classes, until Nashville started doubling Covid cases every five days, and now the tentative date that students are told they might be stepping foot in a classroom is off in September.

The city has purchased thousands of laptops, WiFi -> cell hotspots, and other things that sound like they’ll be a great idea but won’t make it in time, furthering the educational divide between those who have their own equipment and those who don’t. Metro’s working on it however.

Equipment has been purchased for those who don’t, but it’ll get here when it gets here, and setting up and distributing the systems is not something I expect to happen smoothly.

Businesses that have staff on site in Nashville are beginning to realize today that they’re going to have to choose between the way things have been done, and your lead salesperson’s kids taking over a janitor closet or free space to remote learn. The IT city is moving toward a Ready Player One learning model, although with keys and less laser optic googles.

While studies on children’s covid infections tend to indicate they’re relatively low risk for both transmission and side effects, the calculable effects on teachers and support staff were probably deemed to be too great. Just doing the numbers a few employees were going to die.

The rest of the state of Tennessee schools are allowed to open and the governor is not really doing much other than encouraging people and businesses to do things known to combat the virus. Unfortunately masks are politicized and you can’t seem to even make a purchase without someone wanting to talk about them in a negative fashion.

Other towns are moving along with in person learning, and there have been some church space float-out ideas to spread classes out by moving them to larger empty spaces just to provide better distancing.

Nashville has had mask mandates for 8 days for anyone in public that cannot distance at this point, and is averaging 300% the cases of one month ago. The explosive growths in cases can be traced pretty easily to when bars in the tourist pit opened in Phase 3 and did not enforce any of the health department mandates, as well as after any holiday.

I’m told that the educational instruction is being provided out of Florida, which will mean those who end up going to in person classes will be meeting their teachers for the first time at least a month after school starts.

[Tennessean]

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.