HCS Reentry and Continuous Learning Plan


The recent rise of cases in our community has put us in Phase 2 based on the criteria set by the School Reopening Task Force.

Here is our schedule for the next few weeks:

  • We will plan for all K-8 students to remain on campus five days a week through Friday, Dec. 4.
  • Students in Grades 9-12 will transition to an A/B hybrid learning schedule beginning Monday, Nov. 30, and remain through Thursday, Dec. 17.

We will re-evaluate the situation for K-8 after Thanksgiving Break to ensure we are in step with what local health data is telling us and keep parents informed.

 Daily Phase Tracker

This graphic will be updated daily, Monday – Friday only (excluding holidays)

HCS Reopening: Phase Tracker Based on the current 5 day trend of active COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County, TN we are currently in Phase 2.

The #HCSReopening plan uses gating criteria based on active case data provided by the Hamilton County Health Department to help determine which phase the district will be in at a particular time. Our gating criteria established thresholds for each phase, and as you see in the graph above, Phase 3 falls between 370 active cases and 1,470 active cases.

There is a transition period between each phase, and when in the transition period, the district also tracks the number of hospitalizations, patients in ICU in hospitals, and other criteria that will be important after school starts that will include teacher and student absences. The added health data from the Health Department, along with active case numbers, will determine the phase the district operates within while case numbers are in the chart transition area. The transition area between Phase 3 and Phase 2 is between 1,470 and 1,840 active cases.

As of November 25, based on the current 5-day trend of active COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County, TN we are at 2,191 (or 0.6%) of the total population, per the Hamilton County Health Department. This puts us in Phase 2.

Gating Criteria for Phases

The district will continue to track active case data provided by the Hamilton County Health Department and share regular updates with the public.

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.

School Board Presentation


Hamilton County Schools launched the School Reopening Task Force to plan for the safe reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year on August 12. The task force, which includes parents, students, community leaders, health professionals, teachers, school administrators, and district leaders, will meet regularly over the summer to plan for the safe return to school.

The Task Force has been working diligently to determine the best plan for reopening schools, and has completed the HCS Reentry and Continuous Learning Plan.

Phased Approach to Reentry

The plan uses a phased approach to reentry, that includes data-driven and safety-minded gating criteria. The aim of this approach is, first and foremost, to protect the health and wellbeing of our students and staff, while mitigating the likelihood of COVID-19 exposure, and maximizing opportunities for learning.

Phase 1: Risk of spreading COVID-19 is significant. Requires Significant Mitigation.

All schools are closed. Students not physically attending school and are completing coursework through remote learning. HCS is prepared to support students’ well-being and academic development remotely for an extended period of time.

Phase 2: Risk of spreading COVID-19 is moderate but increasing. Requires Moderate Mitigation.

Reduced on-campus hours for all schools, with two days per week of face-to-face instruction for each student. Students will work remotely the remaining three days of the week, resulting in a hybrid learning model. Short-term closure procedures (remote learning) will occur for COVID-19 affected buildings. Phase 2 health and safety guidelines are in place.

Phase 3: Risk of spreading COVID-19 is minimal. Requires Minimal Mitigation.

Schools are open; however, short-term closure procedures will occur for COVID-19 affected buildings. These short-term closures may be followed by reopening with reduced on-campus hours (moving between remote and hybrid learning). Phase 3 health and safety guidelines are in place.

Phase 4: No risk of community transmission of COVID-19. Requires No Mitigation.

All schools are open. Curriculum delivered on campus via face-to-face instruction, with blended learning strategies that integrate digital resources. HCS will monitor and be prepared to react to identification of COVID-19 positive tests that affect staff members or students. Additional health and safety guidelines may be enacted in consultation with the Health Department.

School Reopening Panel Discussion

On Thursday, June 25, 2020, the Task Force hosted a School Reopening Panel Discussion to answer questions about the process for developing the reentry plan.

The presentation and livestream are available below.

School Reopening Panel Discussion Presentation (.pdf)