2021-2022 Reopening Plan

The Cocke County School District continues to work with state and local agencies, including our local health department and school board, to draft and implement guidelines for students to return to school this fall. Although the district cannot guarantee an environment that is entirely free of COVID risks, we have and will continue to mitigate health and safety concerns for staff and students during the coronavirus pandemic. Our 2021-2022 reopening plan includes efforts to reduce the spread of the virus and return to a traditional school schedule. That means all students will attend classes with teacher-led classroom instruction. The district does not plan to offer a full-time virtual option during this school year. We will follow the traditional schedule and in-person attendance if conditions for COVID spread are not considered as high risk for our area. We will continue to monitor state guidelines and health updates. Distance learning days may be required during periods of quarantine, school or system closure. If there is a surge in cases or new health guidance for our county or state, parents should be prepared for the potential of optional schedules or periods of quarantine. The decision to follow a blended schedule or to close the classroom, school or entire system will be determined by the Director of Schools with the safety of all students based on current health conditions and updates. Parents and families will be notified when/if we require transition from one plan/schedule to another (Traditional, Blended, Closure or Quarantine).

Our system safety recommendations and plans include, but are not limited to:


  • Face coverings or masks for all students and staff (PreK-12) are encouraged but not required in the schools and on buses. Masks will be provided by the school system.
  • Frequent hand washing will be encouraged and access to hand sanitizer for all classes will be available.
  • Daily cleaning and disinfection of all buildings and buses will continue.
  • Social distancing will be utilized as much as possible. Seating charts in all areas will continue due to contact tracing for exposure. However, it is not really feasible to have seating charts in the gym, cafeteria, or any large assembly location.
  • Students will be changing classes in all the schools except for a self-contained environment.
  • Temperature checks will not take place for all students daily; however, students who have symptoms or visit the nurse may have his/her temperature taken. We ask parents to monitor their child’s health condition and not send a student to school if they have a fever or are experiencing some other type of health issue. Building principals or their designee will communicate with families in order to determine excused versus unexcused absences.
  • Contact tracing will take place for students testing positive to COVID. Exclusions from attendance will be based on a case by case basis due to the level of exposure so parents can monitor for COVID related symptoms.


  • All students will attend classes in person each day with no full-time virtual option.
  • Students/staff will be excluded from attendance only if the school officials determine that they have been exposed or have tested positive. The decision to exclude will be made on a case by case basis.
  • Distance learning will be offered to all students who are excluded from learning and or quarantined.
  • If students continue to log in and do their work virtually, it will be classified as excused absences.
  • Staff will not be offered COVID days. Any time missed will require the employee to use his/her sick or personal days. Staff may be “repurposed” during the 2021-2022 school year.


  • Visitation to our schools will be limited to protect the health and safety of our students and staff.


  • All buses will run on a regular schedule.
  • Requirements for masks may be adjusted as indicated by number of active cases and other health updates and federal guidelines
  • Buses will be sanitized after morning and afternoon routes
  • Buses will have assigned seats.

Message to Parents and Guardians

By allowing your child to return to school, you must understand that your child’s attendance will require him/her to physically interact with the District’s staff members, other students, and even some limited volunteers. As such, despite all reasonable efforts on behalf of the District, physical interaction with the public at large may pose some unavoidable risks to you, your child, and your family due to the COVID pandemic. While the District hopes that everyone remains safe and healthy during this trying time, we also want to remain both honest and transparent with our parents about the very real risks posed by COVID both inside and outside of our schools. Please visit the cockecountyschools.org website frequently for the latest news and updates.