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Blount County schools announce transition to hybrid model for in-person classes

The district plans to follow the hybrid model for the next two weeks, beginning on August 7.
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 10:18 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2020 at 11:18 PM EDT
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Blount County School officials announced the district will transition to a hybrid model for in-person classes.

“It’s just a constant turmoil is the way it seems,” said Jennifer Fox, a parent to two students in Blount County Schools.

Officials said the decision was made, “after reviewing data related to infection rates in our County and the effect on our school’s and consulting with our Blount County Health Department.”

“We start out we had the choice between virtual or in-classroom and we decided that for our children that the in-classroom was the best choice,” explained Fox, “They needed the socialization. And so that’s what we chose. Now here we are, less than a week into it, and planning that they were all supposed to go back to school on Friday. Well they changed it again.”

First through twelfth graders will learn both in class and virtually. Their last name determines which days they’ll come to their school over the next two weeks.

“I was hoping for this school year I was like, ok they’ll be able to go back and get into a routine and see friends, and be able to, you know, get back to their usual selves. And it’s kind of-it’s sad for me because I was hoping for that,” said Liesl Blair, a mom to two Carpenters Elementary School girls.

Fox said, “Such a quick change is hard I mean on these kids they don’t know what they’re doing day to day, there’s no set schedule.”

Blair said she was worried about the virtual component.

”I was just anxious about how we were going to be able to do virtual stuff when we don’t have Internet,” said Blair.

The district plans to follow the hybrid model for the next two weeks, beginning on August 7.

“The reopening schedule will allow us to keep smaller classes for increased social distancing, keep cohort groups of students together, increase the time for in-person instruction to two or three days a week and reduce contacts and potential exposure to infection,” officials said in a post on Facebook.

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