JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County schools opened this week to a strong start with few COVID-related problems, Director Jennifer Fields told the Board of Education at their Tuesday night meeting.

“For the first time in several years, we’ve experienced an increase in enrollment over the past year totals,” Fields explained, adding, “Our enrollment for the first week of the new school year is 5,172. The enrollment at the end of last year was 4,847.”

Fields added that the TennReady test scores were announced by the state this week and showed that Campbell County experienced no learning loss at the elementary school level, unlike many other school systems across the state. Campbell County middle school and high school scores were less impressive, as both exhibited some learning loss over previous years.

Fields also reported that the school system is following the guidelines of the Tennessee Dept. of Health, with no regular symptomatic tests (temperature readings) but prepared for contact tracing in the event of any COVID-19 cases. Only eight positive cases have been discovered in the entire school system so far, which Fields described as “very low.”  

“We do not have the same option that we had last year of being able to close schools in the case of outbreaks. If we have to close a school due to COVID, we will have to make those days up from our stock of weather days. The State is not allowing schools to close without penalties this year,” she pointed out. Fields also pointed out that virtual learning is not an option. Although Campbell County met the requirements to set up a virtual academy, the county received too few applications to qualify.

The board approved a number of reports and budget amendments, including one that added $20,000 from the USDA that will be used for cafeteria equipment. They also approved the school bus operator contract, which will be the same as last year with the exception that the school department will have responsibility for maintaining and repairing video cameras installed on the buses.

The board also voted unanimously to rename the CCHS football field, now a recently installed artificial field, as the John T. Reynolds Field. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/11/2021-6AM)