Fayetteville City Schools work to keep students safe but don't require mask wearing

In Lincoln County, there is no mask mandate and schools in Fayetteville are not requiring students to wear masks in the classroom.

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 6:33 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2020 6:55 PM

Just like in North Alabama, our neighbors to the north in Lincoln County, Tennessee are seeing a spike in coronavirus cases.

In Lincoln County, there is no mask mandate and schools in Fayetteville are not requiring students to wear masks in the classroom. But class sizes are smaller than previous years, with some students taking part in virtual school.

"We've encouraged any students that could do virtual, we want them to stay at home and do virtual," said Bill Hopkins.

He is the Director of Schools for Fayetteville City Schools. He says that while some students can take advantage of remote options, he knows some students need to be in traditional learning.

"We have about, I'd say we have about 30% of our population at this time, especially our middle school and high school that are doing virtual. This allows us to be able to social distance," said Hopkins.

All Fayetteville City Schools students are doing virtual learning on Wednesdays.

"So, we thought that if we could give a break in the middle of the week, teachers could concentrate on the virtual students, it would benefit us," Hopkins said.

"For our students, I think it's healthy for them to try and understand how to navigate this virtual world that they might one day have to deal with," said the pastor at First Baptist Church, John Hathcock.

Hathcock has two sons in Fayetteville City Schools. He says the school system is keeping parents informed about coronavirus' impact on the schools.

"I would say they've been very transparent. Every time there's been a case that's taken place, within 24 hours, we as parents have gotten word from them whether it be online, on Facebook, on our different social media platforms," said Hathcock.

Hathcock has opened up First Baptist Church to students who don't have internet access or parental supervision at home.

"To date, we've usually had around 20 or so students that come from primarily the elementary age school here to utilize that service," Hathcock said.

Bill Hopkins said that after Thanksgiving break, it is very possible they will have to make adjustments to the school schedule. He said they might have to go to all virtual learning depending on coronavirus numbers.

WAAY 31 did reach out to the Lincoln County Director of Schools to hear how that school district is keeping students safe, but he was unavailable.

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