CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

4/21/20

Dear HCS Parents and Caregivers,

 

As announced by Governor Bill Lee on Friday, Hawkins County Schools, along with all Tennessee Schools, will remain closed to regular instruction for the remainder of the year. We understand that this decision will present challenges for our students and their families. However, we remain committed to leveraging our district resources to support families during this time.

I would like to take this time to thank all our staff who have worked tirelessly so our schools could provide meals to our 
students.

We are happy to announce that we will continue to provide weekly meals every Monday and Thursday at the designated 
school sites and bus routes through May 22. Please refer to our website for more information. 

I would be remiss if I did not take this time to thank our curriculum supervisors, instructional coaches, and faculty for their dedication to finding the best learning opportunities for children during this difficult time. I can say, without  reservation, that all employees of our school district care deeply about your children, you as families, and our community. 

As we begin to transition from school year to summer,we will continue to work together  to make the best decisions possible for our students,their families, and the community. In that regard,I would like to share the following updates with you: 

High School Graduation: Due to the large group gathering restrictions currently in place, we cannot set a date for 
graduation ceremonies at this time. However,we will be providing detailed plans to the Senior class and their families over the next few weeks. We currently have three scenarios involving delayed graduation or virtual graduation and will work with high school 
administration 
to finalize plans once we have more detailed information released to us from state government, the 
department of education, and 
state and local health officials.

High School Prom:  Due to current restrictions on large group gatherings and health department-recommended precautions, we are cancelling high school proms for this school year. 

End of Year Grades:  May 14 has been established as the deadline to submit any outstanding student work. This is especially important for high school seniors looking to earn second semester course completions.  All students will be provided additional learning opportunities beyond May 14 as we head into the summer months.

Check-In Procedures:  Each school site will schedule specific times to drop off any completed learning packets, turn in any uniforms or equipment, and retrieve any on-site medications. Please review our website at hck12.net for schedules and details at each school site. A parent message will be sent by school site as well. We will be looking for the following items at the site check-in:

•      Library Books

•      Textbooks

•      Any technology-related instructional tools such as lap tops,Chromebooks

•      Student unpaid meal charges

Kindergarten Registration: Online registration for upcoming kindergarten students is now open. Students must be born on or before August 15, 2015. More information about registration and the link to register can be found at www.hck12.net/kregistration

PreK Screenings and Registration: If you are interested in learning more about the Voluntary PreK program in Hawkins County for eligible four year olds, information can be found at www.hck12.net/earlychildhoodlearning. 

As we head toward summer, please watch for additional resources sent out by the staff at your child's school site or by 
checking the student resource link on our website. We are planning a summer school program aimed at preparing students for next year. 
Please watch for more details regarding HCS Base Camp in the coming weeks. 

Parents and guardians, please take care of yourselves. I look forward to the day soon when school looks a bit more like it did before Spring Break. 
Until then, please know that I am here for you and proud to serve the students of Hawkins County.

Thank You,

Matt Hixson

 

4/16/20

Dear Parents,

Following the Governor’s recommendation yesterday, HCS will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  While this is not how any of us would have chosen to close out this school year, it is the right decision to ensure everyone’s safety.  Please watch for announcements regarding end of year events such as prom and graduation.  At this point, large group gatherings are still not allowed.  HCS administration will make decisions in the next several weeks regarding these events and any necessary adjustments.  Please continue to emphasize the importance of learning with your students while we remain closed.  Make use of the resources our teachers and staff have made available and reach out to your teachers with any questions.

Thank you for your patience,
Matt Hixson

 

3/24/2020

Per the Governor's recommendation this evening, March 24, Hawkins County Schools will now be closed through April 24, with a new target re-opening of April 27.  Please continue to follow the CDC and local and regional health guidelines for ensuring your safety and those around you.

 

Matt Hixson


3/20/2020

  • Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, and in respect to President Trump's 15 Day Social Distancing recommendation, Hawkins County Schools will remain closed through April 17, with a target return date of April 20.  At this point, Hawkins County has no confirmed cases.  Rogersville City Schools will follow this same schedule in collaboration with HCS.
  •  We will continue meal service via our drive through feeding program at the identified six school site locations, daily, Mondays through Fridays from 11:30-1:00.
  •  We will continue to support our students through our teachers' efforts and those of our instructional assistants who are calling and maintaining contact during this closure.
  •  The Central Office and all services associated with central operations, will work split shifts, maintaining communication via email and phone calls.  When not present at the office, employees will be working remotely from home in adherence to the President's recommendations.  The office will be closed on Wednesdays for cleaning.

Sincerely,

Matt Hixson

 

3/16/2020                           

  • Dear Parents and Community Members,
  • This morning, Governor Lee urged school districts across Tennessee to close as soon as practically possible. Hawkins County Schools will be closed beginning tomorrow, March 17, through March 31, 2020.
  • My staff and I will continue to work closely with state, regional, and local health department officials and will relay any updates affecting our school system operation beyond March 31.  I appreciate everyone’s patience while we continued to receive information regarding making the best decision for Hawkins County. 
  • I realize that school closures place a burden on many of our families, and I am pleased to announce we will be providing students with drive through lunch service at the following locations: Bulls Gap School, Mooresburg Elementary, Hawkins Elementary, Surgoinsville Elementary, Church Hill Elementary, and Clinch School.  All lunch distributions will occur from 11:30-1:00 daily from Tuesday, March 17- Friday, March 20. Please refer to our website for additional dates we may be serving meals.
  • Our teachers have also been hard at work preparing online and take home resources and activities.  Please look for school communication with directions on how to access either take home resources or online materials. Wifi access will also be available during the week from 11:30-1:00 p.m. in parking areas at our designated lunch distributions sites. This will allow parents to download online learning resources.
  • Again, please know we have taken the necessary time to develop plans dealing with a potential long-term closure and student and family resources leading to this decision.  I will be in communication with you as we receive updates and make decisions.

Sincerely,

Matt Hixson

 

3/14/2020

  • Good Morning Parents and Community, 
  • I wanted to provide all of you advanced notice of what we have in place, will be doing, and what I learned Friday from the Tenn Dept. of Health and the CDC.  I also met with all regional directors, who all agree to the plan below.  An important fact, as of this morning, the closest confirmed cases are in Sullivan and Jefferson Counties (one confirmed case each.) 
  • According to the Tenn Dept. of Health and the CDC, we are doing the right thing by reinforcing our cleaning efforts, keeping schools open and students in school, reinforcing hygiene practices, and monitoring students and staff.  Here's what I learned today:
  • School Closure: Closing schools as a proactive measure (prior to any identified cases within our system) has not proven to be effective in preventing the virus from popping up or spreading.  This differs from the normal flu protocol.
  • Minimal Spreading: Moderate community spreading of the virus resulting in low student and/or staff attendance will result in the CDC, Tenn Department of Health and the school system making a collaborative decision based on the identified cases and the amount of exposure.  This may result in isolated school closures.
  • Widespread Transmission: Widespread community transmission may result in schools closing in conjunction with CDC and Tenn Dept. of Health collaboration.
  • We have taken and will enact the following precautions:
  • Stringent cleaning of contacted surfaces within the schools and system offices
  • Reminders to community members about the importance of hygiene, identifying factors (elevated temperatures, coughs, aches, etc.)
  • We are cancelling all student and staff trips to identified areas with confirmed cases outside and within the state.
  • Sports events held outdoors and those that involve head-to-head competition within our immediate region are permitted for the time being. Events that contain teams from outside areas will be cancelled.
  • All travel involving large indoor congregations has been cancelled.  
  • Staff travelling outside the state and/or country over spring break will be asked to let their supervisors know where they are going (Tenn Dept. of Health and CDC recommendation). 
  • We will be cutting the perfect attendance programs immediately.
  • We will be deep cleaning each room and facility leading up to the spring break and will ensure the classrooms are completely disinfected over the break.
  • Many questions have come up regarding attendance.  The state legislature is the only governing body that can make decisions to alter student attendance rules and regulations.  Given the declared state and national emergencies, we may see leniency in these regulations.  We may also see mandates for closure coming from our state or national leaders.  As you know, details regarding the COVID-19 cases and spread change daily.  My promise to you is to clearly and consistently communicate any changes to the above plan. 

      Sincerely,

      Matt Hixson


      3/12/20

      Dear Parents and stakeholders, 

      • In light of recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) news and the fact that the Governor has declared a Level 3 State of Emergency, I want you to know we have and will continue taking precautionary steps to ensure student and staff safety.  We have implemented stringent cleaning protocols at all sites, actively worked with and monitored student health practices, and posted health guidelines and resources.  We are working closely with regional and national health organizations, like the Tennessee Department of Health, Ballad Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as they monitor cases around us.  In fact, we participate in weekly conference calls with Ballad and regional CDC personnel. Relying upon the expertise in these groups has greatly assisted with our decisions here in Hawkins County.  As of this point, we have not had any confirmed cases in our county. 
      • In order to be prepared for the loss of instruction in the event of a school system mandated shut down, we have administrators and teachers at every grade level working on resources through Google Classroom, a resource already used within our school system.  This would provide students with resources to continue their learning if schools are closed.  Schools will also be ready to prepare paper resources for those who may not have access.  
      • We will do everything in our power to continue to provide safe and clean facilities and prevent school closure.  Please make sure you are monitoring members of your immediate family for signs of illness.  If you or a family member begin to experience symptoms related to COVID-19, such as dry cough or high fever, please contact the local health department or consult your family physician.  As a reminder, please access the CDC website for more information on what you can do at home.  https://www.cdc.gov/
      • Together, we will weather this storm.  Thanks for the ongoing support for Hawkins County Schools.  Please know that any decisions will be based on sound medical guidance that is focused on the well-being of our community.

        Matt Hixson


      3/6/20

      Hawkins County Schools is actively monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID 19) situation to remain updated of current information, including review of guidance from national organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, local health departments, and providers.  HCS staff is working collaboratively with these experts in the development of operational plans to address any local impact that may take place. HCS will continue to engage in all efforts for the foreseeable future to proactively plan for the safest possible environment for our students and staff. Please watch for future updates as they become available
      For more information regarding COVID 19/Coronavirus please visit the Centers for Disease Control website (www.cdc.gov)