KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Schools said Thursday thousands of students registered for the district’s online-only learning option for the fall 2020 semester offered as part of the reopening plan amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A KCS spokesperson said the district has just over 17,000 students enrolled in its virtual program; however, KCS won’t have the final enrollment number until next week as it will take up to 48 hours to get help desk tickets updated in its system.

KCS has around 60,000 students enrolled throughout the district.

Students who elect to enroll in the Virtual Learning Program will be committed to this option for the entire semester.

The virtual option was made possible by the board of education approving the 1:1 initiative back in May, which put in motion the use of $7 million of CARES Act funding to purchase 60,000 Chromebooks or other devices for KCS students.

This is not the first time the district has tried virtual learning at home for students. Earlier this year, when schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, KCS rolled out its “KCS@Home” program for online learning, which had been optional for students with resources aimed at keeping students educationally engaged.

Knox County Schools students haven’t been to class since before their spring break in mid-March. Gov. Bill Lee recommended in March that schools remain closed until April 24, then in mid-April he recommended that schools remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

The first day of classes for Knox County Schools is Monday, Aug. 17.