Knox Co. Schools Board of Education to meet ahead of school year



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Schools Board of Education is meeting Wednesday night for its quarterly work session. The meeting is ahead of the new school year, which begins for students Aug. 9.

Apart from agenda items including the superintendent’s report and a learning report presentation from Ford Next Generation, the board of education will hold a public forum as well as a board forum.

The meeting comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its earlier guidance on masks indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic; however, school officials have said there were no immediate plans to change its direction on not requiring masks or other coronavirus guidelines from last year for the upcoming school year.

Earlier this month, the CDC had said it was relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines, saying that vaccinated teachers and students no longer needed to wear masks inside school buildings. Now, citing new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC is recommending indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

On Tuesday, KCS spokesperson Carly Harrington said they were continuing to monitor the circumstances related to COVID-19 in the community and were not planning any changes unless the board of education’s policy regarding face coverings is reinstated.

During the June 30 board of education work session, Superintendent Bob Thomas said, “At this time our expectation is that the COVID-19 restrictions implemented a year ago will not be in place for the 2021-22 school year.” In that statement, the superintendent went on to say that “Masks will not be required for students, teachers or employees, although they will be allowed at each individual’s discretion.”

This is a developing story. Download the WATE 6 News app for updates sent to your phone.

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