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Jefferson County Board of Education meets to discuss virtual learning protocols

The Board of Education met to talk about how to best manage new challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Jefferson County Board of Education met Thursday night to talk about virtual learning and how to meet new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the meeting, the board discussed hiring new teachers and some of the concerns families raised about virtual learning. Some of the issues included wifi issues, accessibility concerns and basic communication issues. The board said it is working to address issues some parents brought up.

For example, some families raised concerns about being unable to turn in assignments through virtual learning systems. Others said they had to travel to areas to be able to connect to the internet, leaving their homes.

One of the issues the board worked to address was transitioning to a 1-to-1 technology system.

"We began to realize that we needed some additional support and ways to help our teachers because we ended up having so many distance-learning elementary students specifically," Shane Johnston said, the Director of Jefferson County Schools. "Those students weren't 1-to-1 in previous years, they weren't used to having those devices."

The board decided to create short-term contracts for certified teachers, to help staff classrooms and help students be successful while learning from home. They will act as co-teachers and will help classroom teachers lighten their load, Johnston said.

He also said that they have already received a handful of applicants for the positions, and expect more to come in.

Director's Update 8/21/20: Distance Learning Days planned for all JCS students. Read the full document at ow.ly/QN5N50B64OQ Stay up to date with the latest news and information at jc-tn.net/reopening.

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