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Knox County School Board discusses distance learning plan

The plan will hopefully role out at the beginning of April but board members want educators to review it first.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Out of caution over COVID-19, Knox County Board of Education moved its meetings online. Thursday's topic was distance learning and the equity of it all.

"We thought this was our best plan if we choose to deploy it," Chief Academic Officer Jon Rysewyk said. 

The proposed plan includes learning packets for Kindergarten through 8th grade and online materials for high school students.

Rysewyk laid the ins and outs before the board.

"We would need to figure out how to distribute devices to those who need it," he said. 

As for other counties in Anderson County students have packets, Google classroom assignments and Facebook video interactions. 

In Sevier County, some grades have packets and others have Chromebooks loaded with material. 

In Blount County, there's online learning and packets as well. 

But for many the question is what about access. Knox County Board Member Evetty Satterfield said that's a major point.

"We have to make sure we aren't punishing kids for being disadvantaged and that we have access for as many as possible," she said. 

In Thursday's plan, leaders noted devices would be distributed to students who didn't have them and reaching out to community leaders about WiFi was on the table.

"This is an opportunity to cast as wide of a net as possible so we could continue to move forward with education," Satterfield said. 

Leaders said the hope is for this to roll out at the beginning of April. However, many want school leaders and teachers to review it first, noting it is still a work in progress.

If you'd like to watch the full video of the plan, you can watch it here.

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