KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Knox County Schools announced it will offer both in-person and virtual classes once again for the 2021-22 school year, but it comes with an important caveat: students will be locked into their choice for the entire school year.
KCS announced Friday that families will need to make a selection from April 15 to 23. Students Grades 1 through 12 will be eligible to enroll in the virtual learning program, but kindergarteners will not "due to the significant challenges of online learning for our youngest students."
Students must also meet certain prerequisites to qualify for virtual learning, including having internet that meets KCS requirements, being able to test in-person, having a parent complete orientations, having a "learning coach" available for elementary school students to supervise them through the day, and the parent must be able to pick up additional materials at the child's school.
Students will not be able to switch between virtual and in-person learning after the April 23 deadline.
"Because of the challenges of building teacher / student schedules, students must remain with their learning model through May of 2022," KCS said.
KCS said it will discuss whether to continue requiring in-person students to wear masks in the next school year during the Board of Education meeting on April 7. Currently, the BOE policy still requires students to do so.
Neither employees nor students will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, though KCS is recommending its employees to get it to mitigate the spread of the virus.