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Almost one year after state leaders announced school closures due to the novel coronavirus, students in the Knox County Public Schools will soon return to the classroom for five days a week instruction.

The announcement came Monday night as Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles provided the Board of Education an update on the district's Learning@School and Learning@Home instructional methods.

"Our plan has been to get students back in five days a week and I feel that we can safely do that," Sprinkles said.

The transition will take effect on March 8 and is contingent upon schools meeting Centers for Disease Control guidelines, guidance released by the Kentucky Department of Education, and executive orders in place by the governor. Students that are currently in A and B hybrid groups attending two days a week will attend five days a week. Preschool students will attend four days a week, with their off day continuing to be Wednesday.

"We will be able to take temperatures as part of our health checks each morning and move students in and out safely," said Sprinkles. He continued to say that custodians and support staff would be able to keep buildings clean throughout the day and sanitized each evening for the next day.

"The hardest part will be spacing and that will vary by school," Sprinkles explained to the board. "Some schools will be able to do this with no problem, while others may need to move classes to different rooms."

Sprinkles said that schools and the district have an ample supply of disinfectants and personal protective items that will make for a safe transition for all students.

The district will continue to offer virtual learning, Learning@Home, as an option for families. Families that want to move from Learning@Home to full in-person instruction should contact their child's school.

Additional details and information for families will be released by the district prior to the transition.

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