The State of Tennessee requires schools to have 180 days of schools. Per our state-approved accreditation standards, three of those days may be designated as professional development days, and three days may serve as half days. The half-day limitation does not apply to kindergarten. None of these requirements apply to preschool.
The state also mandates that students attend school for at least six-and-a-half hours a day. Schools may choose to operate for seven hours a day, which allows them to build thirteen days into their school calendar to use in situations in which school needs to be closed (usually for inclement weather).
Berean Academy operates seven hours on school days, and therefore has thirteen days available for legitimate school closings. Although there were some delayed starts to our school days during the winter, we did not use any of the thirteen days until this week. After tomorrow, we will have used five of the thirteen available days.
Next week is spring break, and the following Monday (March 30) has been a scheduled day out of school for students since the beginning of the school year. When the decision was made to cancel classes for this week, the plan was to return to classes on campus on Tuesday, March 31. Since that announcement on Thursday, March 12, concerns over the spread of COVID-19 have greatly increased and have resulted in many schools cancelling on-campus classes for at least the next few weeks.
We at Berean have not yet made a decision as to when we will return to on-campus classes. Teachers are working diligently preparing lessons for distance learning, but it is our hope that we will return to campus for face-to-face teaching and learning. Next week, we will communicate a projected return-to-campus date, so students, parents, and teachers can get at least an idea of how to plan.
Concerning the eight unused school-cancellation days, we are not planning to use those to extend Spring Break any further. It is important that we move forward with our academic program whether it is on campus or from a distance. So, the current plan is to resume official school days, whether on campus or not, on Tuesday, March 31.