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Knox County Schools to roll out learning from home plan Monday

The at-home learning plan isn't mandatory, but starting Monday students will have either paper or online options.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Wednesday, Knox County Schools released an at-home plan for students across the district. 

"The first thing I think of is that kids need to know they are safe and they are loved and cared for, because if they don't they are not going to be able to learn anything," parent and teacher Christy Bruchey said. "My son is kind of anxious about the whole thing."

For kindergarten through 8th-grade, families can get packets and use online resources like YouTube, KCS TV and East Tennessee PBS to help kids learn. For high school students, all material is provided online.

If families don't have a device with internet access, high school students can request one within certain parameters. Nationwide, districts are taking an approach involving learning packets and digital resources.

"That's the hard thing," Bruchey said. "When you get into different grade levels, they have different needs." 

The reality of learning at home also affects many parents.

"It's just a totally different thing than anybody has ever tried to do before," Knox County parent Lee Forgety said.

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He's also a working dad. While he has teachers in his family who can help, he understands that everybody's reality is different. 

"Not every family has that," he said. 

The KCS at-home plan is not mandatory and students won't receive a grade on anything in it. The district said it is designed to keep students engaged and to keep them learning. In the meantime, before school starts up again, parents maintain figuring out how to work and learn from home is a work in progress.

"Everybody is just doing the best that they can," Bruchey said. "We just need to give each other some grace and understand everyone is doing the best they can, and that's okay."

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Knox County Schools told parents it is hoping to get further guidance from the Tennessee State Board of Education on April 9, 2020, during its special-called meeting. From there, it plans to update parents even more.

To help answer more parent questions, the district will host a virtual Community Meeting from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7. The meeting will be live-streamed on KCS TV Comcast Channel 10 and on Knox County School's website

Anyone who would like to ask a question can submit questions by 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, to kcsathome@knoxschools.org.