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'Ready and up for the challenge' | KCS Superintendent Bob Thomas talks 1st Day of School

"We've taken all of the steps that we know to take to ensure the safety of our students and our staff," Thomas said.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It's the first day of school for Knox County students! 

On Monday, more than 40,000 students headed back to school and about one-third of students participated in virtual learning.

"We haven't been in school in five-and-a-half months now, I know our administrators, our school leaders, our teachers are excited to get back into the swing of things. Our kids are excited to get back into school," said Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas. 

Students will start the day with temperature checks and if a student has a temperature over 100.4 degrees, he or she will be sent home. 

Inside the classroom, desks and table seats are spaced out. Additionally, masks are required on the bus and inside the building with a few exceptions. 

If a student or staff member tests positive, Thomas said COVID-19 cases will be reported to the school and families of the school. Additionally, information will also be updated daily through a district wide dashboard. 

"We've worked really hard, I think we're ready and up for the challenge," Thomas said. "We've taken all of the steps that we know to take to ensure the safety of our students and our staff." 

Knox County is also now a one-to-one district and students have access to two different models of Chromebooks. 

Kindergarten through 2nd grade students received Dell Touch Chromebooks and 3rd grade through 12th grade students received regular Chromebooks. 

If families and students need tech support, they can call the help desk line at 865-594-1830 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or email helpdesk@knoxschools.org with questions.