KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Kingsport City Schools gave parents and students the option to do face-to-face learning or virtual learning, but on Monday all classes started online.

“At the nine weeks for K through eighth-grade students they can choose to come back face-to-face if they would like, and for high school students they can choose in November if they want to come back face-to-face in January,” said Rhonda Stringham, Kingsport City Schools Assistant Superintendent, “But for the most part the students that are in the RCL programs, their families chose remote because they anticipate being remote for the whole year.”

School drop off zones and playgrounds were empty Monday as Kingsport City Schools started the school year online.

For Alyshia Bell and her five daughters, the first day saw its challenges.

“I would say we didn’t have all the excitement picking out their first outfit and everyone’s going to go see their friends and all that stuff,” said Bell.

The school system is making sure students log into their virtual classrooms by making attendance assignment-based.

“For today, because it’s the first day for attendance, we’ve asked parents to help their children watch some videos and learn some things about digital citizenship, and then they are submitting a Google form to teachers letting them know what they learned from digital citizenship and being responsible in the digit world,” said Stringham.

Fifth-grader at Jackson Elementary School, Alexa Bell, says some of her teachers are making her finish her work before 12 o’clock or else she’ll be counted absent.

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Alexa said she misses being in school because of the different activities they would do around this time of year.

“I miss doing more activities because we used to have field day and things around this time but we don’t get to no more,” she said.

Her sister Asiah Bell, a seventh-grader at John Sevier Middle School, says there are pros and cons to virtual learning.

“I’m normally excited to go to school but this year I wasn’t,” Asiah explained, “A good thing is you can eat while you’re working and stuff and a bad thing is you don’t have anybody to really talk to and it’s not as fun as it would be at school.” 

As for Alisha Bell, she said their family is determined to look at this school year positively.

“It’s still a pretty good start to the day. Just a new routine. I think you have to kind of figure out their schedule especially having everybody on different levels,” she said.

The school system is using their busses to get lunches out to students for the time being.

If a student is in need of a lunch you can call the Kingsport City School system for details.

Many teachers are still teaching in the classroom as these students are learning from home.

Virtual learning will take place for Kingsport City Schools until further notice.