HCS Reentry and Continuous Learning Plan

The district will continue to track active case data provided by the Hamilton County Health Department.

Do your part to keep everyone SAFE!

Together, we can protect the health and safety of HCS students and staff, and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Please help use keep our schools SAFE by taking the Hamilton County Schools Pledge and committing to the following healthy behaviors:

Do your part to keep everyone SAFE!

This info-graphic is available in Spanish too.

Hamilton County Schools Community,

The last few months have created significant hurdles for our school district as we’ve navigated the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hamilton County Schools is committed to the safety and well-being of our students and staff, which is why we launched the School Reopening Task Force in May to determine the best process to return to school safely on August 12. Every day, families across Hamilton County entrust our schools with their children, and we do not take that responsibility lightly. Safety is always our first priority, and that focus has guided the Task Force’s work as they’ve made difficult decisions related to reopening our schools.

The School Reopening Task Force, led by Keith Fogleman, chief talent officer for Hamilton County Schools, and Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) William T. Brooks, director of JROTC for Hamilton County Schools, is comprised of people from across the community. Members represent all sectors, including parents, teachers, students, school board representatives, healthcare professionals, and business leaders. Community voice is essential when making decisions about our school district. Our Task Force members served as representatives of that community voice.

The first step in developing the plan was to gather information from the public through a survey. More than 25,000 parents, staff, students, and community members completed the survey, giving the Task Force a strong sense of the community’s priorities. The Task Force used the responses to survey questions to outline the plan for reopening schools while also ensuring the viability of teaching and learning, student supports, and district operations. Through more conversations with the community, the reopening plan continues to evolve into procedures we believe best suit the needs of our students and the community, and also adheres to national, state, and local health and safety guidelines.

Our School Reopening Plan prioritizes what is best for our students, and provides options for families so they can choose what their child needs as learning resumes. The plan also provides options for our employees who may need special accommodations to teach while also guarding their health. Developing this plan was a difficult task, and we are proud of the great work done by those involved and thank them for dedicating their time to this vital effort. We are confident this plan will provide a safe and effective learning environment for all of our children and their families.

We look forward to seeing our students learning again on August 12, whether it’s in a classroom or assisted by technology while learning at home. Thank you for your support of our staff, schools, and children during this challenging time. We Are Hamilton!

Dr. Bryan Johnson
Superintendent, Hamilton County Schools
Joe Wingate
Chairman, Hamilton County Board of Education

Continuous Learning Plan Landscape Analysis

In March 2020, Hamilton County Schools faced the unprecedented challenge of transitioning to fully-remote learning for all 45,000 of our students with only a few days notice. We initiated a launch sequence for instruction, operations, and technology - and then continuously adapted our processes to meet the needs of our students, staff, and families. Teachers stepped up immediately by creating virtual lessons and paper-work packets, but we recognize now that our Exceptional Education and English Language Learner services needed improvement. Operationally, HCS placed significant emphasis on continuing a feeding program that was accessible to all throughout the closure and, to date, we have served over 1,000,000 student meals. Our communication strategy was centralized for consistency and included weekly PBS spots featuring the Superintendent; however, we've learned that effective Reopening communications also need to be personalized and leverage our school Principals. Finally, in March 2020 we urgently distributed all available district-owned devices and worked with partners to stand up free WiFi stations, but we know more is needed to close the digital equity gap. These successes and lessons learned inform our Continuous Learning Plan.

Future Ready 2023!

Future Ready 2023! is the district plan which outlines the work of Hamilton County Schools. Hamilton County Schools believes that our ultimate responsibility is to prepare our students for life beyond high school. Future readiness is the overarching theme that guides the decisions we make to support our students towards graduation, beginning in Pre-K and progressing through their senior year in high school. It is even more important that we maintain our focus on preparing our students for the future as we address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Board is committed to success for all students through increased student achievement, parent and community involvement, safe schools, and accountability. The Board established a set of goals to guide district leadership in their oversight of school operations:

  • Ensure a safe, clean, and orderly environment that promotes learning in all schools.
  • Improve academic performance of all students through implementation of a system of high standards and accountability in all classrooms.
  • Recruit and retain effective and qualified teachers for all children.
  • Enhance and strengthen the programs that promote good citizenship, teach character education, and value diversity.
  • Develop a parent involvement program in every school.
  • Implement a comprehensive plan that provides clear and open lines of communication among central office employees, school staff, parents, and the community.

We have used these goals to establish the foundations of this reentry plan and guide our efforts in seeking input from our community, parents, students and staff.

This info graphic is a visual representation of all of the roles that make up the task force. This information is available in detail below.

Guiding Principles

Minimizing risks to public health

  • Focus on students, teachers and employees.
  • Understand and manage the increased risks for older and immune-compromised teachers and students.
  • Alignment to state and county health department recommendations, as well as CDC guidance.

Addressing impacts on students’ learning and well being

  • Skill gaps created by uneven remote learning.
  • Social emotional support.

Recognizing schools’ importance to the community

  • Safety, stability, food security and social development.

Optimizing operational readiness

  • Effective health and safety measures to mitigate the risk of infection.
  • Ensuring we are prepared for:
    • Infrastructure needs.
    • Budget challenges.
    • Aligning supply chain with mitigation needs.