KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Students attending Knox County Schools for the next academic year will again have the option to choose to attend in-person or virtually; however, applying for and attending virtual school also means no extra-curricular activities.

The transfer window deadline for students wanting to attend a KCS virtual school next year is 4 p.m. Friday, May 14.

Students (except those attending kindergarten) wanting to apply will have to follow the school district’s standard transfer procedure; students who meet the prerequisites and are approved for a transfer will be notified in June.

The online application may be found here. In addition, each school will have paper forms that parents can submit for their students’ transfer applications.

The KCS Connect website states that students who are accepted into virtual school will unenroll from their base school and enroll in the virtual school; this means they will not be able to participate in extra-curricular activities at their former base school.

It is very important to remember that this virtual option is dependent on getting approval from the Tennessee Department of Education, and these plans could change in the future. We will make sure to keep you updated,” the website states.

The Knox County Schools Board of Education created the virtual learning option for students during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020; this decision came after the board and school officials approved and purchased more than 60,000 Chromebooks for students with CARES Act funding in order to give them the necessary access for online learning during the health emergency.

Last school year, more than 18,000 students signed up for virtual learning in the fall and a few thousand less than that this past spring semester.

For next school year, initially, the school district was readying to offer the virtual learning option amid discussions early last month, but there was a decision still to be made by the Tennessee Board of Education about the capacity for virtual schools since the state is no longer under an emergency.

This week, the education board approved the school district’s virtual learning school plan and application forms for elementary, middle and high schools and sent it to the State Board of Education for review.

We will update you when we learn more.