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Knox County Schools Superintendent says upcoming school year expected to be "normal"

Superintendent Bob Thomas announced that COVID-19 restrictions implemented in response to the pandemic would not continue into the upcoming school year.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Students in Knox County faced new challenges during the past two school years. Many had to adapt to learning from home, while people in the classroom had to follow new COVID-19 restrictions to keep everyone safe.

Now, Superintendent Bob Thomas is saying those restrictions are not expected to continue into the upcoming school year. During a board meeting Wednesday night, he announced that they would not be in place when students return in the fall.

Spanish Version: Superintendente de KCS dice que el próximo año escolar se espera que sea "normal"

Masks and temperature checks will not be required for students and employees, and visitors will be allowed in buildings. Knox County Schools will also not conduct contact tracing for COVID-19.

Extracurricular activities and field trips are also expected to return in the upcoming school year, officials said.

However, officials said that Knox County Schools will continue working with the Knox County Health Department and adjust its policies if it needs to.

During the pandemic, Knox County Schools also provided Chromebooks and laptops to students to help facilitate online learning. Thomas said students should bring them to class each day in the upcoming year, and said students will continue using them.

Officials announced that more than 20 school counselors are expected to be hired soon. They said this year's budget included funding for more counselors, as mental health issues among students continue rising according to health experts.