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Tennessee Board of Education to vote on emergency rules amid COVID-19 closures

The state board proposed a set of rules to guide districts across the state as they respond to COVID-19.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — States nationwide are trying to figure out what the future of education looks like after COVID-19 led to closures around the globe.

In Tennessee, the state's board of education proposed a set of rules to address how districts should act in response to coronavirus. Its nine members are set to meet about the proposed plan on Thursday. Here is the agenda

Knox County Board of Education chair Susan Horn said one of the key topics will be how seniors and rising seniors will be affected. 

"Those are probably the biggest questions parents have that I have heard from," she said. 

In the set of proposed state emergency rules, there is a recommendation to change required credits from 22 to 20 to accommodate some students. The SAT and ACT requirement may also be waived.

Students and parents can also expect more information on how grading will work. It is one of the biggest questions among families across the state. 

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The state rules will address this, board members say, and those rules may look at specific circumstances too.

"I'm also hearing about students who had a rough first semester and who were really looking forward to the second half of the semester," board member Evetty Satterfield said. 

Attendance will also be an important conversation during the meeting, too. If new rules are passed, districts could take attendance remotely but may not be able to issue unexcused absences.

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The proposed rules also touch on effectiveness scores, special education, English language learners and teacher licensure. These are all things Horn said she hopes will help districts as they move forward.

"I suspect a lot of our community will be watching, and we are anxious for the meeting to move forward so that a lot of these questions the community has will get answered," Horn said.

The state will hold a conference call regarding its emergency plan. You can find more info on how to connect and view it here.