Home Breaking News Virus cases at Nashville schools ‘parent to student’ so far

Virus cases at Nashville schools ‘parent to student’ so far


By John R. Schirmer

News-Leader staff

After nine days of classes in the Nashville School District, some Covid-19 cases appear to have been passed from parent to student, Superintendent Doug Graham said Friday, instead of student to student. “The cases we’re seeing traced back to parents bringing it home. It’s a domino effect with contact occurring at home.”

So far, one self-contained class at Nashville Primary and three classes at ABC pre-school have been affected.

“If we have a handle on this at all, it’s not student-to-student. It’s all in the home, either by close contact or being around somebody who tested positive. Adults have to go to work. They’re out in public. We hate it when this happens,” Graham said.

“We’ve gone to a different kind of learning with three ABC classes,” Graham said. “The teacher tapes a lesson and sends it out. Parents and kids watch” if they have electronic devices and internet service. “We don’t send devices home with that age group.”

At primary, “One parent got [the virus] and sent it by the student. It’s not affected a whole level yet,” Graham said.

The cases were reported between Day 4 on Aug. 28 and Day 9 Sept. 4. The district cancelled classes Aug. 27 because of Hurricane Laura’s effects in Arkansas.

State schools dismissed for Labor Day Monday, Sept. 7. “I hope the three-day weekend will help” with efforts to deal with coronavirus, Graham said.

About 20 percent of the district’s 1,900-plus students opted for virtual instruction because of the virus. Graham and Transportation Director James “Bunch” Nichols encouraged parents to take their children to school instead of riding buses to reduce the possibility of exposure to coronavirus.

“That’s really affected our bus riders,” Graham said. “We’re down 35-40 percent. Parents have heeded our advice. That’s two hours a day the kids aren’t sitting by other students” on a bus.”

Those who ride the buses are required to wear masks and social distance when possible. Windows are down, and drivers disinfect the buses after their morning and afternoon routes.

On a traffic-related note, Graham said he has been pleased with what the city did at primary school with the new bridge and island. [Public Works Director] Larry Dunaway and [Mayor] Billy Ray Jones did a great job. It’s really working” on relieving traffic congestion at primary.