A different world: Hamilton County students start classes both in person and virtually

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / A "Welcome Back!" sign sits in the grass at Hixson Elementary School on the first day of school, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020 in Hixson, Tenn.

It's that time of year when parents post their kids' photos on social media on their first day of school. The photos would show the children in their brand-new clothes and big smiles, standing in front of doors or cars.

But, as the nation continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the photos are different this year.

One Tennessee mother posted her high school daughter's first day of school on Monday, with her standing at the end of the stairs inside of her home - laptop in hand. The next photo was the junior walking up the stairs waving goodbye, with the hashtags: #virtuallearning and #thenewnormal.

Wednesday was the first day of school for Hamilton County Schools students. This is the first time the school district's facility doors have been opened since March 12 due to the coronavirus.