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'We have concerns' | Teachers looking for answers ahead of KCS fall plan

Teachers are submitting questions to Knox County Schools about what the upcoming year will look like.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knox County Schools is set to release how it will reopen in the fall.

For teachers, that comes with a lot of questions and concerns.

"Everybody has been waiting for months to see what that looks like," 7th grade teacher, Dave Gorman said. 

He is also a part of the Knox County Education Coalition and the Knox County Education Association.

"Most teachers I know want to be back in front of our kids, but we also want to be safe and if we take on that risk we want to be protected," he said. 

With that said, Gorman asked around to gauge what teachers were really concerned about. 

"I got a list together of almost 40 questions," he said. 

He submitted them to the human resources department for the school district. Many hit on safety.

"The biggest issues are what if I get sick," Gorman said. "If I'm exposed and I have to quarantine do I have to use my sick time."

But also, the difficulties that could come with social distancing especially considering different grade levels as well as the various subjects being taught. 

"Doing that safely in an elementary school is significantly different than doing that in a high school," he said. 

Gorman said teachers also wanted to know what wold happen what will happen if there are no substitute teachers but also what are the things concerning substitutes who want to help but fear their safety. 

But again that is only a few concerns out of nearly 40 and some teachers have compiled more.  

"I mean there are a lot of areas we are concerned about," he said. 

That includes resources for special education students and their families as well as English language learners and what they need as well. 

Gorman said he submitted the questions he gathered and was told he would get a response soon.

"We've got to be put there safely," he said. 

Now as teachers await the fall plan, they look forward to their specific answers too.

"It's important that we keep our kids safe, let's keep our teachers safe," Gorman said. 

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