Unicoi County Director of Schools John English on Tuesday announced a “virtual extension” of the school district’s spring break, now extending through Friday, April 17.
Originally, spring break was set for Friday, April 10 through Monday, April 13; however English noted that students, parents, teachers and other staff had been working hard since schools closed on March 16 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“We know that’s caused a lot of stress and anxiety,” English said. “We’re trying to educate and meet the needs of our students in these challenging times.”
English said the expectation of extending the originally scheduled spring break dates is to give everyone a chance to take a breath and enjoy some quality time with loved ones.
“We want to encourage everyone next week to put it all down, spend time with your families, within the safe measures that have been put in place,” English said. “We hope everyone has a safe, enjoyable time.”
English added that students enrolled in AP, dual enrollment classes, bridge math, or online credit recovery courses would need to continue their work next week in order to stay on track.
He reassured that, while the period would be considered a break, the district’s food service staff and volunteers would continue to serve meals Monday through Thursday as normally scheduled. English also praised those workers for their efforts during the closure.
“I can’t say enough good things about (them),” he said. “They’re showing up every day to try to help make sure that, all across the county, our students are continuing to be fed.”
English said students and teachers should expect to resume educational activities online on Monday, April 20, and concluded his statements with hope for as swift a return to school as possible:
“We’re going to get through this together, I have no doubts about that,” English said. “We look forward to getting back to normal.”
The district’s central office will remain open daily, and may be reached at (423) 743-1600. English may be reached via email at email@example.com.