MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Blount County Schools officials announced Monday that students will return to school on Wednesday, July 29, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that cut the 2019-20 school year short.

Although the district said schools are reopening traditionally, families have the option for virtual instruction for their students. The deadline to indicate which type of instruction a student will receive is Friday, July 17, so the district can make plans.

“Our priorities are health/safety of students and staff and providing academic instruction to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st Century workplace,” a post on Blount County Schools’ Facebook page stated. “Schools will open traditionally providing uncompromising services to all students. Families may choose between traditional or virtual instruction. This choice must be made for planning purposes no later than Friday, July 17th.”