School graduation, restart plans in the works


Tuesday, Wise County Schools Superintendent Greg Mullins was able to announce the much-anticipated high school graduation dates for 2019-20, but he and the school board are looking at additional information before deciding on an opening date and plan for the 2020-21 school year.

Central High School will hold its commencement with four groups of graduates and families on July 28 and 29.

Union High School will graduate on July 30 with four groups.

Eastside High School’s graduation will take place on July 26 and 27. Groups of 10, including students and families, will be allowed.

The school board is looking at several options as far as reopening for 2020-21. One option has students in each school divided into two groups. The first group would attend on Monday and Tuesday, with the second group attending school on Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays would be a teacher planning day, an additional day for remote instruction as well as a deep-cleaning day.

Another option is all-remote instruction, which will be available to any students or parents who choose to use it.

One of the biggest concerns discussed was bus transportation. All students will be required to sit one to a seat, with social distancing rules in place. Masks will also be required. Mullins advised that if students do not wear a mask on the bus, parents will be required to transport them to school.

Mullins estimated around 10 people voiced their concerns both for and against in-person learning during Tuesday’s meeting.

The school board is looking at the possibility of an Aug. 20 start date, but wanted to continue the meeting to July 21 at 6 p.m. to allow Mullins and staff to prepare a new school calendar.