School Health » Reopening Plan for 2021-2022 School Year

Reopening Plan for 2021-2022 School Year

As Athens City Schools always provides excellence to our students and families, we know that our students returning to school in August is imperative. Providing our students with a quality education is of the utmost importance, and it is critical that our considerations focus on getting students back into the classroom safely. We also know that the health and safety of our students, school staff, families, and communities are the driving forces for every decision we make.
As we have developed this plan, we have surveyed our families, considered best practices while gaining input from our educators, administrators, and staff, and collaborated with our local medical community, local school systems, the Southeast region school systems, and the TNDOE.

Excellent, quality instruction will continue throughout these unprecedented, challenging times, but a blend of models must be available as we return to school while having safety protocols in place. The ACS Reopening Plan provides a phased approach to ensure that our students can thrive while this pandemic continues. It is our desire that the 2020-2021 School Year begins in Phase 4; however, ACS is prepared for all phases should our local situation change now or in the future.
Additionally, we recognize that even with ACS beginning in Phase 4 with all students returning to school, some students and families may have circumstances or concerns where they feel they should remain home. We honor and appreciate the many different viewpoints and opinions regarding our community’s impact with COVID-19. Therefore, a Phase 1 model of instruction will continue to be available for students and families, so students can remain at home while receiving excellent quality instruction. ACS will continue to provide transparent communication as we consider these phases throughout the school year based upon the most current guidelines and recommendations.
Although detailed work has gone into the development of these plans, local conditions and consultation with our medical community will contribute to the possibility of changes in these plans as we will continually evaluate our situation. The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff have been and will continue be the priority in every decision.
Please note that the Frequently Asked Questions listed below will continue to be updated as we provide guidance from local and state agencies.  

Our reopening plan includes 4 phases allowing us to be proactive in adjusting to our local situation and transition quickly if needed. We ask that you review the entire plan to become familiar with the different phases that could occur. However, we ask that you specifically focus on Phase 4 as we are planning for all students to return under the Phase 4 guidelines on Monday, August 10.

Students will return beginning on August 10th on a 2 week staggered start.  Information on what schedule your child will attend will be provided at a later date by your child's school.


To accommodate students returning to school for in-person instruction, below are highlights of the safety measures at this time.


  • Increased deep cleaning will continue in all schools.  
  • Increase hand sanitizer stations throughout the building.
  • Masks for students are optional and not required. 
  • Water refill stations and water bottles in all schools.
  • Temperature checks for every student and adult entering the building. Additional temperature readings as needed throughout the day.  
  • Students with temperatures above 100° will be isolated in the school clinics and sent home. Students must follow the ACS guidelines for returning to school.  
  • Procedures to reduce social interaction and honor social distancing per current guidelines regarding group size and large gatherings; special attention will be given to recess, changing classes, cafeteria practices, bus duty, etc.   
  • Recess on playgrounds will continue but with additional hand sanitizing precautions.
  • Food service plans will be based on intentions to limit student interaction, support social distancing as much as possible, and increase handwashing provisions.  
  • Outside guests will be limited to essential and pre-approved visitation. 
  • Cafeterias will be closed to parents and outside guests as well as the utilization of volunteers except by a pre-approval system with the school administrator.   
  • Detailed and specific plans will be created for medically fragile and exceptional students.   
  • Bus service will continue. Hand sanitizer will be available before students enter the bus and school; students may wear masks. Deep cleaning will occur on buses between routes. 
Coming soon.
ACS will be working with families to schedule the staggered date to include siblings within our school district to allow for ease of scheduling childcare on days they do not attend.

Virtual/Online Instruction: Registration for virtual/online learning will open on July 6, 2020.


Students will be enrolled in a virtual/online program and receive instruction remotely. Depending on internet access, remote learning allows for various forms of digital and online learning, video lessons, app-based learning tasks that students complete on their own, downloading assignments on the device, and completing paper/pencil assignments. Some of the design considerations include the following components: 


  • Students will be assigned to an ACS teacher, but the majority of learning and practice will be completed by the student at home, using resources provided by ACS.
  • All instruction will be delivered virtually by an ACS teacher.
  • Curriculum and resources aligned to state standards/scope and sequence of the curriculum
  • Students will participate in district/state assessments to document student learning and growth as required by TNDOE.
  • Teachers will communicate daily learning expectations through an agenda in Microsoft Teams.
  • Students will turn in assignments to teachers. 
  • Teachers will provide feedback to students and use ACS grading guidelines on all assignments.
  • Attendance will be taken daily to fulfill local and state requirements.


Please contact Andrew Kimball for registration information.  
[email protected] or 423-745-2863
Please contact Andrew Kimball at [email protected] or 423-745-2863.
Kids Connection intent for registration of Fall 2020 will begin on July 1.   The deadline to complete registration is July 10.   
August 24, 2020