MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A group of parents is wanting more from Shelby County Schools’ reentry plan. With a lot of interest in virtual learning this year, the group Memphis Lift is asking for an individualized learning plan for every student.
Memphis Lift is made up of parents and grandparents of students in Shelby County school districts. They commend Shelby County Schools for being one of the first to release a school re-entry plan, but they worry there isn’t enough for parents in that plan.
Following the SCS release of its Strategic Action for Flexible Education or SAFE reentry plan, Memphis Lift released a statement asking the district to answer questions brought forth by parents. First, they ask if parents who choose to keep their children at home with virtual learning this school year will there be quality training and devices for children.
“Giving them so so wifi is not going to do the trick,” said Memphis Lift Policy Fellow Ashlyn Sparks. “They’re not going to engage the way they should. Another layer of that is tech literacy. What kind of training are they offering to these kids and these families to allow them to engage meaningfully.”
A training session for parents on their children’s school programs will be July 20 with more sessions to be added.
The reentry plan said every student will receive a laptop or tablet and internet support if needed with students choosing virtual learning receiving their devices by mid-July.
“They’ll get existing inventory until new devices come in. Once they come in they’ll exchange,” said SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray.
Memphis Lift continues to urge Shelby County Schools to make an individualized learning plan for students. The group calls for it in its parent manifesto, and again after the reentry plan was released Monday.
While the SCS reentry plan includes additional instruction time during some weekends and breaks, Memphis Lift believes an individualized learning plan can do away with that.
“If they put that plan in place and do that, their load would be a little bit easier. It’s like a road map,” said Memphis Lift Director of Choice Counseling Renee Smith. “They’ll be able to see every child and where they are.”
Memphis Lift said it has not been able to get an answer from Shelby County Schools on whether it will implement these individualized learning plans. WMC Action News 5 reached out to SCS with the group’s latest questions, but has not heard back.
Ray has said no plan is perfect, and he’s asking for patience as many people wait to get their questions answered.