COVID-19: A Message from TCSC and List of Resources
Dear Charter School Community,
COVID-19 continues to be a source of caution for families, schools, local and state officials. As the health and well-being of our students, employees and community remains our top priority, we are continuing to monitor recommended courses of action and share resources as they become available. This morning, Governor Bill Lee issued a statement urging school districts to close as soon as practically possible and remain closed through March 31, 2020. In consideration of this recommendation, and in an effort to be proactive in protecting our students and staff, we hope that all Tennessee public charter schools that had not previously announced closings will do so accordingly.
We appreciate Governor Lee’s focus on keeping Tennessee students safe. It is in the best interest of our students and staff to practice social distancing during this time to help limit the spread of COVID-19. We ask everyone to do their part to help prevent the spread of disease by limiting attendance at social gatherings and large public events.
We understand the challenges that unexpected closures can have on families and know additional support may be needed as a result. We have compiled a list of resources below and on our website to help families during this time and will continue to add to it as new information becomes available.
Resources for School Leaders:
- Tennessee Charter School Center has set up a resource folder for portfolio members to share/find resources related to instructional approaches, communication with staff and families, and operational plans.
- Charter School Growth Fund has published a blog post on “Approaches to Instruction During School Closure”.
- Great Minds offers a free distance learning resource that might be helpful for schools.
- Zearn also offers a free distance learning resource for our schools.
Food Resources for Families:
- Memphis, updated 3/13
- Nashville, updated 3/16
- Chattanooga, updated 3/14
- Knoxville: no updates at this time
- Statewide: The state agency has received a waiver for non-congregate feeding if schools are closed due to COVID-19, districts will operate the Seamless Summer Option for area eligible sites.
If your district would like to utilize the waiver and operate SSO during closures due to COVID-19, please follow these steps;
- Reach out to Sandy Dawes, State Director of School Nutrition via email Sandy.Dawes [at] tn [dot] gov
- Provide the following information: Names of all schools you plan on providing meals; Type(s) of meal Programs that will be served (NSLP, NSB); Number of students you anticipate serving; What meal distribution method(s) you will be using for school closures due to COVID-19(remember this is for non-congregate feeding of SSO); Methods you will use to ensure proper operation of the program including meal content, meal counts, food safety, oversight, etc.; Methods of communication with families;
- Complete SSO application in TMAC: Reach out to your regional consultant; Work with Randa Meade, Office Number (615)-532-0372, or email Randa.Meade [at] tn [dot] gov
General Information on COVID-19:
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus 2019
- World Health Organization: “Do the Five”
- Rapid Response Resources: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
- Tennessee Department of Health: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
We know it can be isolating to deal with crisis in silos. Many of you have questions and/or great approaches to support families and teachers during this time full of unknowns. To help, TCSC is offering a digital space for public charter school leaders to discuss what they are doing for their staff, students and families via our online webinar platform. This call is set up so that public charter school leaders across the state can come together to discuss their current strategies, what is working, what is not working and brainstorm on what more we can do.
The webinar meeting space will be open Monday, March 23 at 11am CST. If you would like more information on how to join this discussion, please contact hilary [at] tnchartercenter [dot] org.
If you have any questions, continue to check this website or reach out to us directly.
The TCSC Team