Information Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Information Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Additional information including school supplies lists, food service information, extended child care, and more can be found on this page:

Back to School Image

July 27, 2020

Bus Routes

School bus routes are now posted on this page:

August 4, 2020

July 23, 2020

Dear Families of Oak Ridge,

Our number one commitment in Oak Ridge Schools is success for every student. An important part of ensuring student success is placing priority status on the health and safety of our staff, students, and community. With that in mind, we reiterate that this will be a year of adjustments.

We have been monitoring trends in COVID-19 cases using the Tennessee Department of Health metrics, and consulting with local experts over the last several days and weeks. In response to current trends in that landscape, we have made the adjustments below to Option 1 of our reopening plan. If you have questions, talk to your principal or vice principal.

Oak Ridge Schools Preschool

Glenwood, Linden, Willow Brook, and Woodland Elementary Schools

(Grades PreK-4)

The first day of preschool will be Thursday, July 30th.

The first day of elementary school will be Wednesday, July 29th.

Our preschool and elementary schools will be opening with the safety guidelines in place as outlined in Option 1 of the initial reopening plan, with students attending 5 days per week. Data shows that students in this age group are the least affected by the virus. Classes in our elementary schools are self-contained, the population of our elementary schools are roughly half the size of our middle schools, and class sizes are generally smaller than in our secondary schools.

Jefferson and Robertsville Middle Schools

(Grades 5-8)

The first day of middle school will be Thursday, July 30th.

Thursday and Friday will now be full days.

Our middle schools will be implementing a new staggered reopening plan, in which half of the students will attend classes in person on Mondays and Thursdays, and the other half of students will attend classes in person on Tuesdays and Fridays. This will reduce our class sizes to half capacity. Students will participate in virtual learning on the three remaining days each week that they do not attend in person on campus.

Oak Ridge High School

(Grades 9-12)

The first day of high school will be Wednesday, July 29th, and will be an abbreviated day.

Thursday and Friday will be full days.

Our high school students will also be implementing a new staggered reopening plan, in which half of the students will attend classes in person on Mondays and Thursdays, and the other half of students will attend classes in person on Tuesdays and Fridays. This will reduce our class sizes to half capacity. On Wednesdays, staff will offer additional face-to-face support as needed. Students will participate in virtual learning on the three remaining days each week that they do not attend in person on campus.

We realize that this staggered reopening plan will impact families in various ways, and we also believe the adjustments to Option 1 of our reopening plan will be beneficial to the health and safety of our students and staff as we begin instruction for the 2020-2021 school year.

Administrators from each school will be releasing specific adjustments to their plans in the near future, so we wanted to make families aware that the staggered reopening schedule will begin next week. Please watch our COVID-19 web page for building-specific information about this adjustment to the reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year.

We will monitor student and staff attendance, substitute teacher fill rates, and health department information to determine if schools need to shift to either virtual learning or having students attend on a regular 5 day a week schedule.

Families Who Selected Option 2 (ConnectOR)

If you would like to make changes to ConnectOR enrollment, complete a form using the appropriate link below or contact your principal or vice principal.

Robertsville: https://tinyurl.com/RMSConnectORUnenroll

Oak Ridge High School: https://tinyurl.com/ORHSConnectORUnenroll

Jefferson: https://tinyurl.com/JMSConnectORUnenroll

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent

COVID Alert

July 15, 2020

Dear Members of the Oak Ridge Community,

It is our sincere hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. Unfortunately, I am writing to let you know that we learned today that an instructor working with students and staff at the Oak Ridge High School band camp has tested positive for COVID-19. The involved individual reported having experienced no symptoms of the disease before learning of the positive test result this morning.  Nevertheless, before the positive test result was received and reported to us, this individual was in contact with multiple students and staff members while participating in band camp.

In an effort to mitigate the impact of this development we have taken the following steps:

  • The instructor was immediately separated from working with the camp and was instructed to contact the appropriate County Health Department to make them aware of the COVID -19 confirmation and to seek further guidance.
  • Band camp was immediately suspended. All band camp participants, both students and staff and regardless of their proximity to the ill instructor, were advised of possible COVID-19 exposure and they were advised to contact either their personal physicians or the appropriate County Health Department for personal health guidance.
  • All band camp participants (and their families) who were identified as having been within close proximity to the ill instructor have been individually contacted to inquire about who else they may have had recent contact with and to identify the specific areas of the ORHS building they visited while attending the camp. Most of the camp activities were held in the ORHS Performing Arts Wing and outdoors and the participants have worn masks whenever possible throughout the camp.
  • All areas of the high school building identified as having been potentially infected have been closed and will remain so for 2-5 days, at minimum, while the areas are stringently cleaned. No persons will be allowed to enter any closed location except for designated cleaning personnel.  No area will be reopened until the ORS administrative staff has reevaluated these circumstances with the guidance of the school system’s newly formed Communicable Disease Team (CDT) which is composed of leaders from the Oak Ridge Schools and the appropriate County Health Department.

As we have functioned since the very beginning of the pandemic, the Oak Ridge School system has followed, and will continue to follow, proper protocols for this and every other similar situation, including:

  • Confirming cases with the appropriate County Health Department;
  • Quickly and transparently communicating known possible COVID-19 exposures to any potentially affected individuals and their families, as well as to the broader school and Oak Ridge communities; and
  • Protecting the identity of the individual or individuals involved.

Again, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are and will remain healthy and safe while we all continue to address the challenges of the COVID – 19 Pandemic.

Sincerely,

Oak Ridge Schools

_______________________________________

By: Bruce T. Borchers, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools

July 23, 2020

Dear Families of Oak Ridge,

Our number one commitment in Oak Ridge Schools is success for every student. An important part of ensuring student success is placing priority status on the health and safety of our staff, students, and community. With that in mind, we reiterate that this will be a year of adjustments.

We have been monitoring trends in COVID-19 cases using the Tennessee Department of Health metrics, and consulting with local experts over the last several days and weeks. In response to current trends in that landscape, we have made the adjustments below to Option 1 of our reopening plan. If you have questions, talk to your principal or vice principal.

Oak Ridge Schools Preschool

Glenwood, Linden, Willow Brook, and Woodland Elementary Schools

(Grades PreK-4)

The first day of preschool will be Thursday, July 30th.

The first day of elementary school will be Wednesday, July 29th.

Our preschool and elementary schools will be opening with the safety guidelines in place as outlined in Option 1 of the initial reopening plan, with students attending 5 days per week. Data shows that students in this age group are the least affected by the virus. Classes in our elementary schools are self-contained, the population of our elementary schools are roughly half the size of our middle schools, and class sizes are generally smaller than in our secondary schools.

Jefferson and Robertsville Middle Schools

(Grades 5-8)

The first day of middle school will be Thursday, July 30th.

Thursday and Friday will now be full days.

Our middle schools will be implementing a new staggered reopening plan, in which half of the students will attend classes in person on Mondays and Thursdays, and the other half of students will attend classes in person on Tuesdays and Fridays. This will reduce our class sizes to half capacity. Students will participate in virtual learning on the three remaining days each week that they do not attend in person on campus.

Oak Ridge High School

(Grades 9-12)

The first day of high school will be Wednesday, July 29th, and will be an abbreviated day.

Thursday and Friday will be full days.

Our high school students will also be implementing a new staggered reopening plan, in which half of the students will attend classes in person on Mondays and Thursdays, and the other half of students will attend classes in person on Tuesdays and Fridays. This will reduce our class sizes to half capacity. On Wednesdays, staff will offer additional face-to-face support as needed. Students will participate in virtual learning on the three remaining days each week that they do not attend in person on campus.

We realize that this staggered reopening plan will impact families in various ways, and we also believe the adjustments to Option 1 of our reopening plan will be beneficial to the health and safety of our students and staff as we begin instruction for the 2020-2021 school year.

Administrators from each school will be releasing specific adjustments to their plans in the near future, so we wanted to make families aware that the staggered reopening schedule will begin next week. Please watch our COVID-19 web page for building-specific information about this adjustment to the reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year.

We will monitor student and staff attendance, substitute teacher fill rates, and health department information to determine if schools need to shift to either virtual learning or having students attend on a regular 5 day a week schedule.

Families Who Selected Option 2 (ConnectOR)

If you would like to make changes to ConnectOR enrollment, complete a form using the appropriate link below or contact your principal or vice principal.

Robertsville: https://tinyurl.com/RMSConnectORUnenroll

Oak Ridge High School: https://tinyurl.com/ORHSConnectORUnenroll

Jefferson: https://tinyurl.com/JMSConnectORUnenroll

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent

July 17, 2020

Reopening Plans by School

Oak Ridge Schools Preschool

Glenwood Elementary School

Linden Elementary School

Willow Brook Elementary School

Woodland Elementary School

Jefferson Middle School

Robertsville Middle School

Secret City Academy

Oak Ridge High School

July 15, 2020

Virtual Instruction Handbook for Teachers

Virtual Instruction Handbook for Teachers

July 13, 3030

Update About ConnectOR FAQs including Course Offerings

ConnectOR Parent Handbook

ConnectOR Manual de Instruccion En Espanol

ConnectOR FAQs

ConnectOR High School Planning Guide

Link to ConnectOR Application Form

ConnectOR K-8 Course list

Kindergarten Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Elementary Technology
1st Grade Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Elementary Technology
2nd Grade Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Elementary Technology
3rd Grade Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Elementary Technology
4th Grade Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Elementary Technology
5th Grade Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Elementary Technology
6th Grade Language Arts I, Mathematics 6, Comprehensive Science I, US History

Middle School Critical Thinking, Problem Solving & Learning Strategies

Middle School Reading

7th Grade Language Arts II, Mathematics 7, World History I, Comprehensive Science II,

Middle School Critical Thinking, Problem Solving & Learning Strategies

Middle School Reading

8th Grade Language Arts III, Pre-Algebra, World History II, Comprehensive Science III,

Middle School Critical Thinking, Problem Solving & Learning Strategies,

Middle School Reading

APEX: High school level Math, Introduction to Business and Marketing, and World Language Course offerings.

July 9, 2020

Update About Masks

Dear staff and families of Oak Ridge Schools

Our goal at the beginning of this school year is to provide students with the maximum amount possible of direct teacher instruction time while keeping in mind the State and local health department COVID safety guidelines. We care deeply about our students and staff and know that the number one factor that impacts student learning is being engaged with a highly effective teacher providing instruction. After reviewing the current situation, students and staff are expected and will be required to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible. Students and staff who have a medical condition that makes the wearing of a face covering problematic are asked to consult your building principal. Such needs will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We appreciate everyone’s patience and support during this important time for our students, families, and staff.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Superintendent

Oak Ridge Schools

July 6, 2020

Dear families,

Oak Ridge Schools will reopen for students on July 29th, according to our 2020-2021 district calendar.

Linked below are copies of three documents. The first is a reopening plan. Within that plan, your student has two options.

  • Option 1 is to resume learning in person, with contingency plans for remote learning as emergency health conditions arise.
  • Option 2 is a full year of virtual online learning. This program is called ConnectOR. Documents for enrolling in Option 2, ConnectOR, are linked below.

Reopening Plan 2020-2021

Click this link to read the full document:

Oak Ridge Schools Reopening Plan 2020-2021
We appreciate the tremendous participation and feedback you have given us for our safe reopening survey. This plan is based in large part on that feedback, as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), state, county, and local government. This plan will be evolving regularly with changing guidance during our ongoing response to COVID-19. Regular updates will be made to this plan as we receive guidance from these agencies.

We learned from our survey that the majority of you want to see us return to some semblance of normalcy with students participating in face-to-face instruction. You also told us your highest priorities in bringing students back safely are, in order: 1) regularly disinfecting common areas, 2) practicing social distancing, 3) providing temperature checks, 4) reducing non-essential visitors in the school, and 5) wearing masks as needed.
In response to your voices, and to help reduce ambiguity for you, we created this evolving plan to aid in a safe reopening. With this plan, we hope to address questions you may have regarding the ever-changing landscape of learning, health, and safety recommendations we receive. We will work together to implement, continuously evaluate, and update this plan. It is our ultimate desire to protect the wellbeing of our students, staff, and families in our community, as we carefully plan to reopen this fall.

To help mitigate the spread of the virus, we are also requesting that parents take their children’s temperature on a daily basis prior to allowing them to attend school. Students with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should remain at home. All updates to this plan will be sent to you by e-mail and posted on our COVID-19 web page: www.ortn.edu/information-regarding-coronavirus

Virtual Learning Option 2

We look forward to inviting students back to school very soon.

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Superintendent

Leaders in Oak Ridge Schools are working to create back-to-school plans for the safe reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year. As this process continues, parents and staff may find updates from the district office on this page. Here are a few points to help you plan for our safe return to school.

All district back-to-school communication and major resources are being added to this COVID-19 page.

Oak Ridge Schools will reopen on July 29th, according to our 2020-2021 district calendar.

In light of the ongoing situation with COVID-19, we are exercising flexibility in our planning process. While we remain committed to excellence in education for all Oak Ridge students, we are also mindful that we must honor the many viewpoints surrounding COVID-19 and recognize the impact our plans may have on the broader community.

Earlier this week, we shared a survey with families and staff to gather input regarding your level of comfort with several options as we plan our return to school on July 29th. We will continue to work cooperatively with staff and families, showing care for each other to ensure optimal planning. We are committed to keeping our students safe, while giving them every opportunity to achieve success in learning both for now and in their future endeavors.

Click here to read the

Survey Results


Responses to this survey will help us determine if the majority of Oak Ridge families want their children to return in person with their teachers when school opens on July 29th. We intend to use feedback from our survey to support parental input regarding safety measures, and provide ongoing communication about our efforts. It is our intent to balance health concerns with educational, social, and emotional benefits to your children and your family.

Thank you so much for participating in our survey. Keep coming back to this page for updates. Families will be given additional opportunities to provide feedback as the year progresses. We are committed to communicating in the most concise, informative, and transparent ways possible.

If you need to reach out to individual schools, here is a link to our school directory.

If you have questions regarding enrollment, you may also find information on our Pupil Services page.


Additional ongoing updates related to COVID-19 are posted alphabetically by topic below.


The Tennessee Department of Education is working closely with ACT, Inc. to ensure that all students in the 2021 cohort have two opportunities to take the ACT, same as prior cohorts. To this end, ACT is providing a range of options and testing flexibility to students, schools, and districts. We are grateful for the feedback we‘ve received from many superintendents, district testing coordinators, principals, school coordinators, and the Assessment Advisory Committee.

Please see the linked document below for further information.

ACT Guidance for Tennessee Districts and Schools

Your Co

AP Computer Science Resources

Laptops and Free Online Resources Available to AP Computer Science Students  

Audience: Directors of Schools, CTE Directors, Secondary Supervisors, Principals
ContactDeborah.Knoll@tn.gov

Amazon will now begin offering comprehensive support and new online learning resources for high school students in preparation for at-home AP Computer Science exams.
Amazon is committed to supporting high school computer science students in need across the country as part of its Amazon Future Engineer program. In response to COVID-19, they are immediately making the following free resources available:

  • Free Online Computer Science Courses: 
    • Amazon Future Engineer is opening up free online access for all to our sponsored Edhesive curriculum for both AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A courses. Students, parents, and teachers can access these courses here.
  • Laptop Donation: 
    • Amazon is donating 4,000 laptops to AP computer science students who otherwise do not have access to a device at home to take the exams. Students receiving laptops will get to keep them to support their educational journey beyond the COVID-19 outbreak. Students without a laptop at home can apply through College Board.
  • Free Online Test Prep: 
    • Nonprofit CodeVA, with the support of Amazon Future Engineer, will begin offering free, online AP Computer Science test prep sessions leading up to the AP exams open to all preparing. Students can participate in the twice-weekly prep sessions here.

For more information or questions, please contact Deborah Knoll, director of K12 programs and STEM Initiative

ntent Goes Here

Important COVID-19 Information

Student Summer Participation Guidelines Signature Form

COVID Disclaimer Signature Form

After you have read both forms, please sign and return this Signature Form for both Participation Guidelines and the COVID Disclaimer.

City of Oak Ridge, Kroger Health offering drive-through COVID-19 testing at Oak Ridge High School

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (April 10, 2020) – The City of Oak Ridge and Kroger Health are teaming up to host free drive-through testing for COVID-19 in Oak Ridge on April 15, 16, and 17.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 15-17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., people with symptoms of the coronavirus can schedule an appointment through Kroger Health to be screened at the Oak Ridge High School parking lot.

“It is essential that testing be increased in order to fight this deadly virus,” Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch stated. “This testing will help us determine the degree of spread within the Oak Ridge community and surrounding area. Oak Ridge faces a unique challenge because we host thousands of workers and commuters to travel across our city every day.”

Per CDC guidelines, the only people who will be tested are people with symptoms or healthcare workers and first responders who have been exposed to the virus. Symptoms include fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Before attending the testing site, patients will be asked to schedule an appointment via Kroger Health’s online portal at www.krogerhealth.com/covidtesting.

“Kroger Health is proud to partner with the Anderson County Health Department in this important effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Colleen Lindholz, President of Kroger Health. “This aligns perfectly with our vision, which is to help people live healthier lives.”

Scheduling an appointment is required to receive a test.

People with appointments may enter the testing site at the Oak Ridge High School parking lot off the North Tulane Avenue entrance. Everyone who arrives should ensure all windows are up when in the testing area and have a photo ID ready. Kroger Health Associates will guide patients through the testing process.

Test results can be expected within 3 to 7 days, and Kroger Health is working to partner with labs that offer even faster turnaround time.

“This testing period will be a superb opportunity for us to develop data on the degree of spread that is a concern to all of us,” Mayor Gooch said. “We are sincerely grateful to Kroger Health for partnering with us in this critical health and safety effort for the Oak Ridge community.”

“We want to thank Dr. Borchers, Bruce Lay, and Principal McDonald for allowing this to take place,” Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley said.

The Oak Ridge City Schools food pickup line will be temporarily moved to the Band entrance of the school building during this 3-day event.

COVID-19 Testing

New Cross Boundary and Tuition Applications

Applications for new cross boundary and new tuition students will available beginning April 27 – May 15th.  Applications will be available online.  You will need to print the application, complete it, and attach the requested information.   Mail the application to Pupil Services.  The address is listed on the application.  Applications can also be emailed, scanned, or faxed to Pupil Services, ATTN: Dr. Henderson.  Her email address is Lhenderson@ortn.edu, fax – 865-425-9061.


When available, open enrollment for new cross boundary applications and new tuition applications will be available on the Oak Ridge School’s website, each school mail office, and Pupil Services. Notification of acceptance and/or denial will be mailed to parents after the new open enrollment period begins. New tuition rates will be available for non-resident students after the August School Board meeting. Once the new rates have been approved, you will receive a tuition contract regarding payment in September. If you have any questions, please call Pupil Services at 865-425-9009 or email Dr. Larrissa Henderson. lhenderson@ortn.edu

_______________________________________

By: Bruce T. Borchers, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools

Commitment to Respectful Culture

June 11, 2020
Dear families of Oak Ridge,
As you know from our recent communications regarding the creation of our Portrait of a Graduate, we wish to assure our community we value, support, and are committed to realizing the hopes and dreams of every Oak Ridge student. We have a collective vision that every student will receive the highest-quality education and graduate prepared for college, career and life success. With your continued support, we will increase clarity regarding our community values to ensure our youngest citizens are successful both now and in the future. In addition to the academic and career skills we know our students need to be successful, we continue to develop students’ interpersonal skills that are essential to working with and respecting all people. This includes effective communication and respectful collaboration, treating self and others with care. We recognize the critical importance of ensuring our students are self-aware, self-disciplined, and exhibit empathy. With these skills students will be prepared to engage in community issues, resolve conflicts, exhibit cultural competency, and act with kinship and respect to fellow members of our community.
Dr. Bruce Borchers
Superintendent
Oak Ridge Schools

Meal Service Update

May 30, 2020

Hello, Oak Ridge families,

I am following up with you regarding summer meal service.

Friday, May 29th is our last day of meal service at multiple school sites for the remainder of this school year.

Our summer meal service will begin on Monday, June 8th, and run through Friday, July 10th. Meals for students under the age of 18 will be available for pickup at Oak Ridge High School only, and the times for pickup will be 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

For families who are unable to find transportation to the high school to pick up meals, please reach out to Jo Bruce at the Family Resource Center— jbruce@ortn.edu and we will have a staff member deliver meals to your home.

This information will be posted on our COVID-19 page for your future reference.

Again, summer meal service will run from June 8th – July 10th at Oak Ridge High School from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Thank you,

Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent

May 15, 2020

Hello families of Oak Ridge,

I want to let you know that we are making a few important changes to our food service schedule as follows:

Beginning May 18th :

We will no longer be serving meals at the following neighborhood locations:

  • First Christian Church on the west end of the Turnpike
  • Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge
  • Teller Village Apartments
  • Manhattan Apartments

We will continue to serve neighborhood meals at

  • MacKenzie Apartments, from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. each day; and
  • Oak Ridge Schools Preschool, from 11:30 – 12:30 each day.

Meals will continue on a regular schedule at three school locations from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Monday-Friday, including;

  • Glenwood Elementary School;
  • Robertsville Middle School; and
  • Oak Ridge High School.

All sites will be closed for Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th.

Be watching and listening for our communications with information regarding our summer feeding program in the near future.

This message will be available for families to read for review in its entirety at www.ortn.edu on our COVID-19 web page.

Thank you,

Dr. Bruce Borchers, Superintendent of Oak Ridge Schools

Update About Food Service

April 24, 2020

Dear families,

We are pleased to let you know that food distribution sites at Oak Ridge High School and our new Oak Ridge Schools Preschool and will reopen on Monday, April 27th.  We want to assure all families that our building maintenance staff thoroughly cleaned these two buildings, and as a top priority, we are implementing CDC guidelines with all staff members who are preparing and distributing food.

As always, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent

April 20, 2020

It is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.  We are writing to let you know that we recently learned that a staff member who was volunteering with our food distribution sites last week has tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result of this information, the Oak Ridge High School and Oak Ridge Schools Preschool buildings will be closed for the remainder of this week. If you have been receiving meals at Oak Ridge High School, we recommend going to Robertsville Middle School to pick up meals. If you have been receiving meals at Oak Ridge Schools Preschool, we recommend going to Glenwood Elementary School to pick up meals.

We also want to assure you that our building maintenance staff will thoroughly clean the two buildings so that they will re-open for food distribution on Monday, April 27th. Experts advise that the COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces for fewer than 5 days.

Finally, Governor Lee stated in his Stay at Home Order, “I have updated my previous executive order to clearly require that Tennesseans stay at home unless they are carrying out essential activities.”

Again, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent


Update About School Closure

April 16, 2020

Hello, this is Dr. Bruce Borchers, Superintendent of the Oak Ridge Schools.

As you most likely know, yesterday, Governor Lee announced that he is recommending all Tennessee K-12 schools remain closed through the remainder of the school year in order to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ensure the health and safety of all Tennesseans. The Oak Ridge Schools will obviously comply with his recommendation and will be closed for the remainder of this academic school year. The Oak Ridge Schools will be closed through May 29th, the last day of this school year.

We would like to remind families that typically, at this time of year in Oak Ridge Schools, teachers and students would be in the classrooms preparing for TCAP and Advanced Placement exams. The testing period for these exams occurs in the second part of April, and after that, students would normally be participating in continued learning experiences that reinforce the yearlong learning.

While our buildings are closed as a result of COVID-19, we want to continue to support quality learning opportunities for student success. Oak Ridge Schools will begin this next phase of learning online on April 27.  Final grades will be calculated from terms 1-3 and students will have opportunities to improve final grades with required assignments.  School administrators will be sharing more information about student requirements for the next phase of online learning on April 20.

Recently, the State Board of Education voted on various items like how to determine grades for the school year, credits at the high school level, testing, and online learning. A full description of these items, as well as updated aligned policies approved by the Oak Ridge Schools Board of Education can be found on our website. See the section titled “Emergency Suspension of Board Policies.”

I encourage everyone to go to our webpage for coronavirus updates and follow our district on social media: Twitter/Instagram: @ORSchools and Facebook: @OakRIdgeSchoolsTN. The TN Department of Education has a helpful web page with coronavirus updates as well.

To the class of 2020, I want to offer a personal note of congratulations for your many successes in your time with us in Oak Ridge Schools. We are keeping you especially in mind, and looking for ways to ensure you are celebrated in unique and special ways under our current circumstances.

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Superintendent

Oak Ridge Schools

btborchers@ortn.edu


Update About Meal Service and Learning Packet Pick-Up

Updated Friday, 4/3/2020

This message is for those who are participating in meal service at our schools and neighborhood sites and also for parents of elementary school students interested in picking up learning packets.

Beginning Monday, April 6, 2020, volunteers will be distributing breakfast and lunch from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at the NEW Preschool, Glenwood Elementary School, Robertsville Middle School, and Oak Ridge High School.   At our neighborhood sites including The Children’s Museum, Manhattan Apartments, McKenzie Apartments, and Teller Village Apartments breakfast and lunch will be distributed from 12:00 – 12:30 pm.

Starting Monday, April 6th we will be adding  First Christian Church located at 100 Gum Hollow Road as a meal distribution site. Meals will be distributed from 12:00-12:30 at this new site.

All sites will be closed on Friday, April 10th in observance of the Good Friday holiday. Meals for Friday through Sunday of that week will be available for pickup at all of our sites on Thursday, April 9th.

Finally, beginning Monday, April 6, paper copies of elementary school learning packets as well as books for students to read will be available for pickup during meal distribution at the previously mentioned locations and times.

Please stay healthy and safe. Dr. Borchers

Message to Glenwood Families

Update from 4/1/2020

This message was sent out to the Glenwood staff, for your information:

Dear staff,

It is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.  Unfortunately, the inevitable has occurred and we are writing to let you know that we recently learned that a staff member at Glenwood has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual reported having felt ill at the beginning of spring break, more than 14 days ago, and now reports to have completely recovered after a mild case of the virus.  We have been told that the positive test results were actually reported to our colleague after recovery.

We are unaware of anyone else who had contact with this staff member prior to diagnosis who has also shown symptoms by the time of this writing.  As you probably know, we have all been advised by the CDC that symptoms arise between 2 and 14 days after exposure and this individual has not been in the school for more than 14 days.  In addition, we have been following, and will continue to follow, proper protocol for this situation, including:

  • Confirming this case with the Anderson County Health Department;
  • Communicating possible COVID-19 exposure to the school community; and
  • Protecting the identity of the individual.

We also want to assure you that our building maintenance staff has thoroughly cleaned the Glenwood building as well as every other school and facility in the Oak Ridge system.  Experts advise that the COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces for fewer than 5 days, and our district personnel have been stringently cleaning all Oak Ridge facilities during our 14-day spring break.

Finally, Governor Lee with his Safer at Home Executive Order is “urging people to stay home and stay apart. We need you to do that, to protect the lives of your neighbors, and to protect the lives of our citizens… we need you to stay home where at all possible.”

Again, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent

Update About Online Learning

3/27/2020

Dear Oak Ridge Schools Families,

I hope you and your family are well and you have found some extra opportunities to rest during this abnormal Spring Break.  We have been working daily to prepare for the unknown, and are hoping our families and students will benefit greatly from the efforts our teachers will be pouring into creating resources for the remainder of our school year.

While I know that online learning cannot replace the power of face-to-face instruction or the effectiveness of teacher relationships with students, I feel very fortunate that we have quality staff who will still offer support to students in a work-from-home model.  We will transition slowly with simple extended learning opportunities, knowing we cannot fully replicate or replace the face-to-face experience we enjoy in our normal daily routine.  We will start with the tools we already have in place and that we know students can easily access.  Please be assured that student privacy will be maintained with all types of communication.

We are anticipating more guidance from Tennessee Department of Education related to high school course credits, high school graduation requirements, and equitable access for all students.  Our principals will communicate changes and updates as we navigate this fluid situation.

Teachers will be creating content during the designated period of April 1-3.  Extended learning opportunities for students will begin on April 6.  Look for additional communication from principals next week.  I feel confident that the learning opportunities for teachers and students will lead to better resources and stronger instructional practices when we are able to return to classrooms.  Please prioritize your health and care for your family during this time.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Superintendent

Update About School Closure

3/25/2020

As I mentioned earlier, there was a possibility that the governor would extend the closure of schools in Tennessee. Just recently, we received word that Governor Lee has recommended school districts remain closed through April 24. We obviously will comply with this closure.

We continue to work on instructional learning plans due to this extended school closure due to COVID-19. More information will be shared about our plans in the near future.

I encourage everyone to go to our webpage for coronavirus updates as we receive them.

Please take care of each other and stay healthy.

_____________

From 3/24/2020

Dear Oak Ridge Schools Families,

I want you to know that my executive team and I have been meeting virtually to discuss the ever-changing landscape in our state, country, and world. We have also been working the Anderson County Health Department as well as participating in numerous calls with Commissioner Schwinn.

This week, the TN Legislators in the Education Committee voted on a proposal to ensure that no schools or students are adversely affected due to school closures, student absenteeism, or other hardships related to COVID-19.  Following the passage of this bill, Oak Ridge Schools will not administer the 2019-20 TNReady and end-of course assessments.  Oak Ridge schools will seek multiple waivers for numerous requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. A full list of these are here:

• 2019-20 spring administration of the TNReady and end-of-course assessments.
• 2019-20 portfolio assessment
• Teacher evaluation growth scores based on 2019-20 assessments, including alternative growth scores such as portfolios.
• Student final grades being comprised in part by 2019-20 assessments.
• School and district accountability based on 2019-20 assessments.
• 2019-20 Civics test required to earn a diploma
• The 11th grade postsecondary readiness assessment for the 2019-20 school year.
• Additionally, we are waiting on further guidance from TDOE on the following item:

    • The state board of education shall revise high school graduation requirements to ensure that no high school seniors on track for graduation affected by spring 2019-20 school closures are adversely affected.

In the event that schools are required to close for an extended period due to COVID-19, we want to continue to support quality learning opportunities for student success. More information will be shared about our plans in the near future.

I encourage everyone to go to our webpage for Coronavirus updates and follow our district on social media: Twitter: @ORSchools Facebook: @OakRIdgeSchoolsTN and Instagram: ORSchools. The TN Department of Education has web page with Coronavirus updates as well.

I hope you all are taking care of each other and staying healthy,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Superintendent

Resolution – Emergency Suspension of Board Policies

WHEREAS, TCA 49-2-203 authorizes local boards of education to govern their respective districts, including adopting, revising, and suspending local board policies;

WHEREAS, on April 2, 2020, Governor Bill Lee signed Public Chapter 652 which removed the requirement for TCAP testing and allowed the State Board of Education to promulgate necessary rules to address issues created by COVID-19 in the 2019-2020 school year;

WHEREAS, on April 9, 2020, the State Board of Education revised several rules and policies in response to COVID-19 effective only for the 2019-2020 school year;

WHEREAS, changes made by the State Board of Education conflict with certain current local board policies;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the ______Oak Ridge Schools____ Board of Education hereby suspends the following policies or provisions of its policies for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, including but not limited to those identified below, to the extent that they conflict with Public Chapter 652 or State Board of Education policies or rules and regulations for the 2019-2020 school year:

  • Policy 4.600 – Grading System
    1. Students taking courses for high school credit shall receive no grade lower than the grade they earned in the course as of March 13, 2020. Additionally, Students taking post-secondary courses are not required to participate in the associated exam in order to receive GPA weighting for Spring 2020.
  • Policy 4.605 – Graduation Requirements
    1. For the class of 2020, graduation requirements are modified as follows:
    2. Only 20 credits are required to graduate per State Board Education Rule 0520-01-03-.11;
    3. The requirements for the following are waived:
      1. ACT/SAT
      2. Civics exam
  • EOC exams
  1. Students scheduled to receive an occupational diploma in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year shall only be required to demonstrate one year of work experience.
  • Policy 4.700 – Testing Program
    1. Students shall not be required to take TCAP exams for the spring 2020 semester.
  • Policy 5.109 – Evaluation
    1. Level of overall effectiveness scores shall not be generated for educators in the 2019-2020 school year.
    2. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers shall not be evaluated using the growth portfolio model for the 2019-2020 school year.
    3. Any observations required by State Board of Education Policy 5.201 that were not completed during the 2019-2020 school year as a result of COVID-19 are not required.
    4. No student data from this year shall be allowed to negatively impact a teacher.
  • Policy 5.802 – Qualifications and Duties of the Director of Schools
    1. The Director of Schools may request an extension from the State Board of Education to report information that would impact educator licensure (e.g. alleged employee misconduct, discipline of employees for actions that violate the teacher code of ethics, etc.).
  • Policy 6.200 – Attendance
    1. Students may not be penalized for non-attendance of online courses.
    2. Non-attendance of online courses shall not count as unexcused absences and shall not be recorded. Further, students shall not be counted truant for failure to attend online courses.
  • [Insert other policies that the Board needs to suspend or modify based on State Board of Education action.]

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Schools shall consult with the Board as feasible and appropriate and shall timely report to the Board regarding implementation of board policies in alignment with Public Chapter 652 and updated State Board Policies and Rules and Regulations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Schools will consult with the Board if he/she determines that additional policies or provisions of policies not contained in this resolution are found to conflict with current State Board rules or policies.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Schools may apply for any waiver or extension that ensures consistency with this resolution, board policies, and Public Chapter 652 or the State Board of Education policies or rules and regulations implemented to effectuate Public Chapter 652.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Schools shall inform the Board of any waiver or extension request made pursuant to this resolution.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that execution of this Resolution is conclusive evidence of the Board’s approval of this action and of the authority granted herein.

Adopted and approved this ________ day of _______________.

By: ________________________________________

Board Chair

Attest: ________________________________________

Director of Schools

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Please see the attachment for more information.

Poster in English

Poster in Spanish

Update 6/5/2020.

The Oak Ridge Flea Market is currently closed, and opening date is TBD. The Oak Ridge Flea Market will keep the same procedures and guidelines as Oak Ridge Schools with regards to closing moving forward, and will therefore update Flea Market information when it is available. We appreciate the efforts and coordination of all vendors.

———

The Tennessee Department of Human Services announced financial assistance is available for families who qualify for free or reduced school lunches, through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.

Parents who already receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits currently, do not need to apply. The funds began arriving on the EBT card they already use beginning June 12.  Parents who do not receive SNAP benefits, but whose children do qualify for free or reduced school meals, will need to apply for P- EBT online https://tdhs.service-now.com/The application period has been extended through July 13, 2020. 

Individuals who need assistance completing their P-EBT application or have general questions about the program are encouraged to call the TDHS hotline at 1-833-496-0661 and select option 3.

Read more here.

Summer Meal Service

May 30, 2020

Friday, May 29th was our last day of meal service at multiple school sites for the remainder of this school year.

Our summer meal service will begin on Monday, June 8th, and run through Friday, July 10th. Meals for students under the age of 18 will be available for pickup at Oak Ridge High School only, and the times for pickup will be 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

For families who are unable to find transportation to the high school to pick up meals, please reach out to Jo Bruce at the Family Resource Center— jbruce@ortn.edu and we will have a staff member deliver meals to your home.

Reopening Sites

April 24, 2020

Dear families,

We are pleased to let you know that food distribution sites at Oak Ridge High School and our new Oak Ridge Schools Preschool and will reopen on Monday, April 27th.  We want to assure all families that our building maintenance staff thoroughly cleaned these two buildings, and as a top priority, we are implementing CDC guidelines with all staff members who are preparing and distributing food.

As always, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent

To volunteer for meal distribution:

For dates through April 24: www.tinyurl.com/ORSFoodVolunteer

For dates beginning April 27: www.tinyurl.com/ORSFood2

Update About Meal Service and Learning Packet Pickup

Updated Sunday, April 5, 2020

Breakfast and lunch served every weekday, with weekend meals available on most Fridays.

All sites will be closed on Friday, April 10th in observance of the Good Friday holiday. Meals for Friday through Sunday of that week will be available for pickup at all of our sites on Thursday, April 9th.

New hours at 9 sites:

From 11 am – 1 pm

  • NEW ORS Preschool -157 Carver Avenue
  • Glenwood Elementary School – 125 Audubon Road
  • Robertsville Middle School -245 Robertsville Road
  • Oak Ridge High School – 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike

From 12:00 – 12:30 pm

  • Manhattan Apartments – 315 S. Rutgers Ave
  • McKenzie Apartments – 100 Utica Circle
  • Teller Village Apartments – 100 Teejay Dr
  • Children’s Museum – 461 W. Outer Drive
  • First Christian Church – 100 Gum Hollow Road

Beginning Monday, April 6, paper copies of elementary school learning packets as well as books for students to read will be available for pickup during meal distribution at the previously mentioned locations and times.

Instructions:

  1. All children must be present in order to receive meals.
  2. Drive up, or walk-up to the designated distribution area. Both a table, and signage will be present in the distribution area.
  3. Meals may be picked up from any of the listed distribution sites regardless of whether the child attends that particular school, or any of the Oak Ridge Schools or not.
  4. No identification, names, or applications are required.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Best regards,

Jenn

Jennifer L. Taylor | Aramark | Food Service Director | K-12 | Education

Information for Prevention

We continue to adhere to CDC recommendations:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds OR
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Continue to provide healthy and safe environments in our schools, using some of the newest technologies with proven EPA registered disinfectants

From the Tennessee Department of Health:
The Tennessee Department of Health is reporting daily all test results including confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.  Here is a link to the site.

TDH is working closely with local health officials to support the ongoing investigations of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, everyone can do their part to help respond to this emerging public health threat:

Use of facemasks in the U.S.

At this time, CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks or respirators among the general public. Masks should be reserved for people who are sick, so they can protect others from getting infected. If worn properly, a facemask helps block the spread of respiratory viruses by the wearer from spreading to other people and surfaces. Facemasks should be used once and then thrown away in the trash.