I want to share some important news with you. Knox County Schools has offered in-person instruction since our reopening on August 24. This is a tremendous accomplishment, and it is a direct result of the extraordinary efforts made by our teachers, principals, health workers, custodians, nutrition workers, and other support staff to provide a safe and healthy environment in our buildings.

As we approach Winter Break, however, it has become increasingly difficult to continue offering in-person instruction. With COVID-19 cases rising in our community, we have seen a corresponding rise in the number of students and employees who are required to quarantine. As the holidays get closer, it has become challenging to find substitute teachers for our classrooms.

We also know that many of our families and employees are concerned that a COVID-19 exposure before Winter Break could result in one or more members of their family being quarantined during the holidays.

With those factors in mind, Knox County Schools announced (Wednesday, December 9) evening that all district schools will move to online learning beginning on Monday, Dec. 14. This will last through winter break. In-person students will return to their buildings on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, unless otherwise notified. In addition, all sports and extracurricular activities will be cancelled during this time. To receive meals during the closure, please complete the meal request form at www.knoxschools.org/mealsrequest.

During this school year, many of our teachers have already provided online instruction, not only for students in our virtual learning program but also for individual schools that have moved to the red attendance mode. I’m very grateful for their innovation and creativity, and I believe their efforts will help ensure a smooth transition during the remainder of the fall semester.

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it remains essential for our community to follow the five core actions: observe physical distancing, wear a mask in public, practice proper handwashing, clean and sanitize surfaces, and stay home when sick.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter, and for your support of Knox County Schools!


Bob Thomas
Knox County Schools