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Fall Semester Update

At a Board of Education meeting on June 3, 2020, Superintendent Bob Thomas provided an update about district planning for the upcoming fall semester. Details of that planning process are included below: 

While closely monitoring impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, in conjunction with state and local authorities, the district has also developed a three-part strategy to help shape its decision-making.

To solicit feedback from students, families and staff, the district has created a survey (Spanish Version) that includes questions about school operations in a scenario similar to the current Phase 2 conditions in Knox County. Responses from all members of the KCS community are welcome.

Second, the district has established a task force of community members from each school board district that will be led by Dr. Jerry Askew, President of the Alliance for Better Nonprofits. The goal of this task force is to provide an additional layer of communication to guide our planning.

Finally, the district will be working with focus groups of students, teachers, principals and parents to seek insight from multiple perspectives about the fall semester.

The district is preparing for three possibilities when school resumes in the fall. Ideally, students and teachers will return to the classroom as normal, while embracing new safety measures such as physical distancing.

Preparations are also being made for two alternative scenarios. The first is a hybrid approach in which ​students would attend school part-time, ​and receive in-person instruction from their teacher in a classroom. In this scenario, part-time classroom instruction would be supplemented ​by a student's teacher with remote learning. This could possibly involve staggering student attendance to allow for physical distancing and extra cleaning of school facilities.

The second alternative would be a strategy of full-time remote learning, led by KCS teachers, that covers new material and allows for graded assignments, using the electronic devices provided through our 1:1 initiative. 

“We want to ensure that resources, plans and procedures are in place so that the work of education doesn’t miss a beat this fall, and I’m confident we’ll be able to achieve that goal,” Thomas said.