Thousands of Mid-South students set for virtual enrollment

Thousands chose virtual learning option

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - By next week, all municipal public school districts in Shelby County will know just how many of their students will learn virtually this school year. So far, most districts are showing at least 20% of their students choosing an all virtual option.

On Wednesday, two more Shelby County School districts will know just how many students will start the school year learning online. Germantown Municipal School District and Millington Municipal School District have enrollment deadlines that day.

This week Millington schools said about 35% of its 2,500 person student body had enrolled in the remote option. Germantown schools reported one day before the deadline about 21% of its 6,100 students had already signed up.

“We think it will wind up being 20-30% who will take advantage of the virtual option,” said GMSD Superintendent Jason Manuel.

A big shift from an original survey of Germantown parents which showed nearly 100% wanting to send their kids back to in-person classes.

When the district saw more people becoming interested in the virtual option it pushed back its start date to Aug. 17, and worked on staffing. Some teachers will be able to teach all virtual classes.

“I think early on as this disease was progressing very few knew family members or people who were experiencing or contracting the illness, but now I think it’s more common,” said Manuel.

Bartlett City Schools closed enrollment for virtual learning this week. The district said nearly half of its 9,000 students enrolled in it.

Last week DeSoto County Schools, Lakeland School System and Arlington Community Schools closed virtual enrollment. At DCS 12,600 students signed up for it, nearly 400 in Lakeland and 750 in Arlington.

Collierville Schools will be the last to close online learning enrollment on Aug. 2. That district is reporting more than 20% of the student body has signed up for it so far.

Monday Shelby County Schools announced the entire district will start with virtual learning. When its original reopen plan was released, it had an option of in-person classes or virtual classes. The district says while that choice was still available, 80% of the more than 100,000 person student body opted into online learning.

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