Education leaders forced to make tough decisions amid coronavirus outbreak

Education leaders forced to make tough decisions amid coronavirus outbreak

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Students across the Mid-South will be out of school for several weeks – and some could be out for the rest of the year.

Concerns over COVID-19 has forced education leaders to make some big decision quickly.

Shelby County Schools announced their schools would be closed until further notice.

Other districts across Tennessee pushed back their closures until at least April 24, following the governor’s recommendation.

Some schools are offering online learning opportunities and others are sending out guides for students to go over at home.

In addition, WMC Action News 5 is partnering with Bounce and Shelby County Schools to bring classes over the air and online for students without broadband access.

Tennessee education commissioner, Penny Schwinn, also said the state department of education is also partnering with PBS stations to ensure students continue learning through the break.

Schwinn said education leaders will continue to meet and talk about plans as the COVID-19 situation changes.

State leaders working on plan for schools

One of the first decisions in the outbreak was to waive end of year testing.

State Representative Mark White, who chairs the House Education Committee, says it will means that another year will go by without the state being able to properly measure student success through testing.

“Three of the last five years we’ve, we’ve not been able to get the accountability scores because of various issues, so this is disappointing to me, but this is an issue that we’re going to continue to work through,” White said.

Arkansas and Mississippi schools are also closed until at least April 17.

Like Tennessee, those states are also working to make sure students can continue to learn while at home, teaming up with their public broadcasting stations and providing resource guides.

A handful of states have gone ahead and canceled in-person classes for the rest of the school year.

So far, no plans to do that in the Mid-South.

AT-HOME RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS:

For more information on instructional resources offered by Shelby County Schools, click here.

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