MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Monday’s press conference held by the Shelby County School District on the reopening of schools left many parents with unanswered questions.
“They didn’t really give us any clear indication as to what they are doing. They spoke about distant and, you know, doing things virtually, but they didn’t give you the who, what, when, where and why,” said Pamela Moses, son attends Bellevue Middle School.
During the press conference the SCS Re-Entry Task Force was presented, it consists of 16 people. A combination of education, health and faith leaders as well as parents and one student.
Chair of Shelby County Board of Education, Miska Clay-Bibbs is one of 16 and she says the press conference was just to announce the task force, but she wants to clarify that planning for reopening has been in place.
"I want to stress again it's not that the planning has barely started, believe me there are a lot of thoughts around what it looks like,” said Bibbs.
Now that there is a task force Bibbs says they will meet to discuss safety for students and teachers, transportation, and what school is going to look like.
"It'll be honestly very quickly and it will be us meeting weekly around what it looks like and then of course we have the community engagement plan that we will push to make sure people show up for input,” said Bibbs.
Joann Massey is a parent on the task force and she says as a parent of two girls she’ll be making sure SCS knows about a list of things on her agenda.
"Transportation, addressing the needs of our disabled students… How do you tell a little kid to keep a mask on all day if that is what’s going to happen, who’s going to monitor those things who’s going to address that. What kind of information portal are we going to have for parents and how responsive will school staff be,” said Massey.
Both Massey and Bibbs ask for Patience and collaboration from parents, saying safety is everyone’s priority.
SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray released the following statement Wednesday:
“I know our students, parents, and teachers are anxious about what next year will look like. Our goal is to welcome students back to school in August to an environment that is conducive to learning. The safety and health of our students, teachers and staff is priority, and the reality is we must have several contingencies in place to plan around the uncertainty that the pandemic has caused. This is why our press briefing on Monday announced our Re-Entry Task Force and reaffirmed our commitment to transparency as we plan and seek input from key stakeholders in education, healthcare, faith based and business communities to plan for next year. It was the first of many updates as we share next steps in our longer-term strategy for re-opening schools.”
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