Nearly 200 Collierville parents gather at school board meeting calling for in-person learning

Updated: Jul. 28, 2020 at 10:11 PM CDT
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COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - In less than three weeks, Collierville students will be heading back to school for at least part of the time.

Nearly 200 parents came out to address district leaders’ plans for the upcoming school year.

“We’re considering taking our kids out of school altogether, not doing the virtual, or the hybrid model,” said one Collierville parent.

A slew of passionate parents and students came out in droves for Tuesday’s Collierville School board meeting.

The meeting was scheduled just four days after the school district announced they were switching to a hybrid plan which means two days in-person instruction and three days of virtual.

Several parents expressed concern about how full-time working parents could care for their children during virtual learning. Many were also worried about delayed learning with students not being in the classroom. About 88% of parents surveyed back in June chose an in-person option if it could be done safely.

However, guidance from the Shelby County Health Department of maintaining at least 6 feet of space between students, meant students needed more elbow room and fewer of them could be on campus at once. School leaders say they had no choice but to make the change.

One Collierville teacher said Tuesday night, “there are literally hundreds of kids trying to get from one end of the school to the other. It’s going to be a heaven for that virus. It’s already heaven for the influenza virus.”

Collierville parents can also choose 100% virtual, but parents were disappointed about the limited courses being offered online.

An announcement was made during the meeting that more courses would be offered such as STEM and Art for middle school students.

However, most of these courses will not be taught by Collierville teachers.

The district says they will have to use a third party to hire additional instructors.

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