If the county Health Department graded for COVID-19 safety protocols, Collierville Schools would have done well on their first exam.

Health Department employees toured two of Collierville’s nine schools Wednesday as principals showed how they’ve adapted to teaching children in the COVID-19 era. Collierville’s schools were the first toured by Health Department officials, and they were excited to see the adjustments.

There’s additional space due to some students choosing the virtual academy, Collierville leaders mentioned.

Sycamore Elementary

All staff and students were learning the new routine on “Day 2 1/2,” according to Sycamore Principal Julie Reagan. In Collierville’s elementary schools, students may attend every day if they do not choose the all-virtual route. At Sycamore, about half of students are learning remotely.

The Health Department arrived midday as some students ate lunch in their classroom safely social distanced while others picked up lunch from the cafeteria and safely returned to class. They also saw those in classrooms spread out the appropriate distance.

West Collierville Middle School

At West Collierville Middle School, students were learning games and health at school, but also were asked to practice at home what they learned and record it on a district-issued iPad for accountability.

Middle and high schools are on a hybrid schedule. Slightly more than 30% of the 1,300 WCMS students chose the virtual route, according to Principal Beth Robbins. The remainder attend school two days each week. For some students at WCMS, Wednesday was their first day.

Health Department employees saw band class. While students didn’t have their instruments yet, band director Susan Spain explained that students’ masks will have an opening so they can play their instruments. Additionally, their instruments will have coverings to help keep droplets from spreading through the air.

According to the Health Department, they could use Collierville as a model as they help other schools learn to adapt to the new normal.

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