Statement from Commissioner Penny Schwinn on Governor’s Recommendation to Extend School Closures, Announcement of COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 | 03:24pm

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 

MEDIA CONTACT: Victoria Robinson 



Statement from Commissioner Penny Schwinn on Governor’s Recommendation to Extend School Closures, Announcement of COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force

NASHVILLE, TN – Commissioner Penny Schwinn released this statement regarding the Governor’s recommendation to extend school closures through the end of the school year and the creation of the of the COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force.

“I appreciate the governor’s recommendation schools remain closed through the end of the school year to protect the health and safety of all Tennesseans. The coronavirus pandemic is constantly evolving, and we are only starting to see how this pandemic is affecting our children,” said Dr. Penny Schwinn. 

“Children being out of school for such a long time has significant implications for a child’s wellbeing, and this poses a different kind of challenge for all of us, as communities and as a state. There is critical work ahead, and I am honored to convene the COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force in the coming weeks to focus state and local leaders on the wellbeing of Tennessee’s children.” 

Commissioner Schwinn will be convening a COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force to support local leaders and communities in caring for our students, particularly those who are vulnerable or most at risk. Details about the Task Force will be announced in the coming weeks. 

The Tennessee Department of Education has developed and designed a number of resources for optional, free use by local districts. This includes school closure toolkits; three times per week superintendent calls; instructional, daily programming on PBS and companion teacher, student and family guides; free access for all families to early childhood platform ReadyRosieSchoolMealFinder website for families to locate meal services; a STE(A)M Resource Hub; as well as federal waivers with a focus on nutrition, accountability and special education.

The Department of Education will continually update guidance to school districts posted on our website: