Knoxville school goes online while overall school students in quarantine climbs


South Knoxville Elementary School will move to online learning Monday.

This comes as the total number of Knox County school students and staff in quarantine or isolation has grown by 60 percent.

Knox County Schools said in a social media post Sunday night that South Knoxville Elementary School will go online and is “expected to last a total of 10 school days.”

Knox County school officials did not release specific details about the number of students or staff infected at South Knoxville Elementary School.

It is the fifth school to go online only and the first elementary school.

The school system said students enrolled in in-person class work will return on Monday, Nov. 16, “unless otherwise notified.”

School officials said the decision is based on the metrics of teacher and school staff attendance and online learning is implemented to ensure students receive high-quality education.

School records show that on Tuesday there were a total of 582 students either quarantined or isolated and 94 staff members. By Sunday, there were 952 students and 131 staff members, a 60 percent increase.

The number of active cases, though, in the school system continue to hold at an even rate.

On Tuesday, the school system reported 64 active cases and, on Sunday, it reported 65 active cases.

There were 42 students and 23 staff members who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, the school system said.

Knox County is also seeing an increase of active cases countywide.

The last school to go online only was Austin-East Magnet School on Oct. 5 for five days. Other schools that went online only include Vine Middle School, Halls High School and Cedar Bluff Middle School.

Knox County Schools has more than 60,000 students and employees more than 8,000 staff members.