Gov. Lee supports schools move back to in-person learning and away from virtual option


Some schools in East Tenn. plan to continue to offer both

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Gov. Bill Lee supports schools move back to in-person learning and away from remote learning to allow students to bounce back from “significant learning loss.”

While Lee wants schools to use virtual learning as an emergency tool, some school districts in East Tennessee are planning to continue to offer both in-person and remote learning.

Knox County Schools

“Knox County Schools will continue to offer an in-person and virtual learning option for families next school year. It will look different and we will be sharing more information with families soon.

We are extremely proud to have successfully offered both in-person and virtual learning options since the start of school in August 2020.”

Spokesperson with Knox County Schools

Sevier County Schools

“While we plan for the vast majority of remote learners to return to school buildings in the fall, we are currently discussing specific options for what limited remote learning may look like during the 2021-22 academic year, but no firm plans have yet been made as we continue to collect information from state educational and medical authorities. 

We hope to solidify plans later this spring so that parents and students know what to expect this fall whenever they go home for summer break.”

Spokesperson with Sevier County Schools

Jefferson County Schools

Jefferson County Schools plans to finalize plans regarding in-person learning in the coming weeks and share with families after the May board meeting.

WATE 6 On Your Side has reached out to other school systems in the area and has yet to receive a statement back regarding their plans for the upcoming school year.

On another note, the state Board of Education held a special-called meeting on April 12. It is unclear what exactly came out of this meeting regarding the state’s plans for the upcoming school year on in-person and remote learning.

We will bring you the latest as soon as we learn if anything had or will be decided on.

These were the items up for discussion/vote in Monday’s meeting:

A. Educator Evaluation Policy 5.201: Final reading of item to update the educator evaluation policy to align with rule revisions and legislation from the 2021 Special Session.  There have been changes to this item since first reading.

B. Continuous Learning Plans (CLP) Permanent Rule 0520-01-17: Final reading of rule to establish a permanent expectation for districts and public charter schools to maintain CLPs for use in the event of emergencies that affect school operations.  There have been changes to this item since first reading.

C. Summer Learning Program Requirements Emergency Rule 0520-01-03-.14: First and final reading of emergency rule 0520-01-03-.14 to establish specific requirements related to summer learning programs in the summer of 2021.

D. Requirements as a Result of the COVID-19 Health Emergency, Emergency Rule 0520-02-03-.15: First and final reading of rule 0520-02-03-.15 to incorporate flexibility for permits and endorsement exemption waivers for 2020-21, pursuant to recently passed legislation.

E. Textbook and Instructional Materials Waiver Request:  Clinton City Schools: First and final reading of item to consider a textbook and instructional materials waiver request from Clinton City Schools for third grade English language arts materials.

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