What We Know About the 2020-21 School Year at West End (So Far)

The information below represents the PTSO’s current and best understanding of the district’s and our school’s plans for the upcoming school year. It is subject to change. We will continue to keep the West End community updated via the PTSO website (westendptso.org), emails, and social media as we receive new guidance and additional details. MNPS has a comprehensive and frequently updated back-to-school guide at https://mnps.org/backtoschool.

  • The 2020-21 school year will begin on Tuesday, August 4, as planned.
  • All students will begin the year virtually. After Labor Day, an in-person option may be added if community spread of Covid-19 slows enough to permit the safe opening of school buildings to students and teachers.
  • MNPS intends to contract with the Florida Virtual School to provide a curriculum for online classes as well as for in-person classes when it is safe to return. This curriculum aligns well with Tennessee’s state standards, offers honors classes, and gives teachers the ability to customize lessons and assignments.
  • West End will continue to offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. MYP is not the curriculum; it is the way the curriculum is taught. It is a highly flexible framework designed to work with the local educational requirements of each IB World School.
  • Unlike Remote Learning 2.0 last spring, virtual schooling will not be optional. Attendance will be taken, and there will be required assignments and assessments for which students will receive grades.
  • Students will primarily use Schoology to receive instruction/assignments, submit work, and get feedback. Microsoft Teams is the district’s preferred platform for video calls and conferencing. 
  • In the all-virtual setting, students will experience a mix of live, real-time (synchronous) learning and learning that students can do at their own pace when it is convenient for them (asynchronous). Students will connect online with their teachers and classmates for approximately two hours each school day.
  • Teacher and class assignments made at the beginning of the year should remain the same when in-person learning begins. Classes will stay together, with some students physically present in the classroom and some continuing to learn from home. 
  • MNPS will provide loaner laptops and/or wifi hotspots to families who need them. An improved process for requesting technology and support from the district will be announced soon.
  • No-cost breakfast will be available to all students. No-cost lunch will be available to students who are eligible via Direct Certification (SNAP or TANFF) or who complete the application and qualify. Meals will be distributed via bus routes.
  • It is expected that related arts classes and ENCORE will continue, but the exact formats have not been determined. Sports and other extracurriculars will be offered as public health conditions allow. Vanderbilt has not yet announced plans for Day of Discovery.
  • MNPS is developing a COVID-19 Continuous Learning Individualized Plan (CLIP) for students with an IEP or Section 504 Plan that identifies how the district intends to implement the services and supports outlined for that student. Parents should receive this plan by August 4. 
  • Many families will need to make arrangements for child care at least until early September. West End families are invited to share ideas and resources regarding potential child care solutions on the PTSO Facebook page (https://facebook.com/westendptso). 
  • The decision to begin the school year in an all-virtual setting has prompted some parents to consider homeschooling their children. Families who are not zoned for West End should be aware that they may lose their seat(s) by disenrolling. Significant numbers of MNPS families opting for homeschooling this year could have a negative impact on funding for the district in the future.
  • There will be a welcome event just for our 5th grade families before school starts; stay tuned for details.
  • There will be a welcome-back event for 6th-8th graders and their families before school starts; stay tuned for details. 
  • The PTSO has set up an online spiritwear store with a limited selection of West End t-shirts for sale; items will be shipped to your home. Until we can resume in-person selling, please visit https://westendptso.threadless.com to purchase West Wear. Additional styles and designs will be available later in the year. 

Of course, there are many things we don’t yet know about the upcoming school year. Email any questions you have to westendptso@gmail.com, and we will do our best to answer them.