Back to School Information
Updated on 7.19.23
Knox County students return to class on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, and our teachers, school leaders and support staff are excited to begin the academic year!
We are committed to putting students at the center of every decision, and are focused on four key priorities:
- Excellence in foundational skills;
- Great educators in every school;
- Career empowerment and preparation; and
- Success for every student.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the first day of classes for the 2023-24 school year?
The first day of classes will be Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023. This will be a half-day for students.
What are the starting and dismissal times for my student’s school?
When will student schedules and teacher assignments be available?
Student schedules and teacher assignments will be available on the Aspen Family Portal on Friday, July 28. More information about accessing the Family Portal can be found at knoxschools.org/aspeninfo.
I’m having trouble logging in to Aspen. How can I get help?
For assistance with Aspen login issues, call the IT Help Desk at (865) 594-1830, or fill out a ticket.
How will school and district messages be sent this year?
Knox County Schools uses ParentSquare for school communication, primarily with email, text and app notifications.
We encourage families to activate their accounts so they can download the mobile app and update their preferences on when and how they are notified. In addition, please notify your school of any changes in your contact information. See more information about ParentSquare.
Will there be early release days in the 2023-24 school year?
Yes. Early-release times will be at 11:15 a.m. (Pre-K), 12:30 p.m. (Grades K-5) and 1:30 p.m. (Grades 6-12) and will be held on the following days:
- Aug. 16, 2023
- Sept. 20, 2023
- Nov. 15, 2023
- Jan. 24, 2024
- Feb. 14, 2024
- Mar. 20, 2024
Please note that dismissal times on the six early release days will not be the same as on half-days.
Will students have access to Chromebooks this year?
Students in Grades K-12 will be provided with Chromebooks through the district’s 1:1 initiative. Chromebook distribution will be coordinated by each school, so please look out for communications from your school principal regarding this process.
Is financial assistance available to purchase Chromebook insurance?
There is no insurance assistance program at this time. The cost of Chromebook insurance is $20, and families have the option of making payments as low as $5 per month to cover the cost.
How will the new online payment system work for school meals?
Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, the KCS Nutrition Department will use a new online payment system for school meals, and a new website to apply for free / reduced-price meals.
The new portal is called LINQ Connect, and users can register for an account at linqconnect.com. Paper applications are also available by calling the KCS Food and Nutrition Services Department at (865) 594-9563.
Please visit the LINQ Connect FAQ page for details about topics including:
- Creating an account;
- Adding money or making a payment;
- Setting spending limits;
- Reviewing meal purchase transactions;
- Receiving “low-balance” notifications; and
- Applying for free or reduced-price meals.
All positive balances on existing school meal accounts will roll over to the new system. To continue using online meal payments, a new account will need to be created on LINQ Connect.
However, applications for free / reduced-price meals will not roll over from prior school years. Any family wishing to apply for this benefit should complete a new application on LINQ Connect.
Please note that when adding students to your account or applying for free / reduced-price meals, users will be prompted to select their school district. After typing “knox” in the search bar, please choose “Knox County Schools (Knoxville, Tennessee)” from the options that appear.
The only students who will receive no-cost or reduced-price meals during the 2023-24 school year are those whose free / reduced-price meal application has been approved, or those who attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school. (See a list of CEP schools.)
If your student does not attend a CEP school, but you would like to apply for free / reduced-price meals, an application must be submitted on LINQ Connect.
Where can I find meal schedules for my student’s school?
How do I find my student’s bus stop?