MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Thousands of students in Shelby County Schools begin their first day of virtual classes Monday.
Sunday, hundreds of cars lined up to pick up digital devices at the last minute before school starts.
Drivers formed a line more than a mile long down Jackson Avenue Sunday afternoon, waiting outside the Shelby County Schools distribution site to pick up digital devices for their student’s first day of class on Monday.
“It’s ridiculous, my parents didn’t want to come because of how long the line is,” said Karen Corea, sister of SCS student.
“The line was intimidating when I first pulled up,” said Desean Grayson, parent of four SCS students.
Parents say long lines have been a problem at other digital device distribution events in recent days. Most of these parents arrived more than an hour before the site opened up Sunday, trying to get to the front of the line.
“I came yesterday it was really long yesterday. So I thought, ’oh, come an hour early.’ It’s still long,” said Jasmine Perez, parent of two SCS students.
Another parent came back to a distribution event for a second time after not receiving all the equipment one of their students need for class.
“We didn’t realize we didn’t have the keyboard I’m coming back to do that,” said Grayson.
Shelby County Schools canceled a device distribution event Friday over severe weather concerns.
SCS Head of Communications Jerica Phillips says they’re planning to schedule make up distribution events in the coming days and long lines are to be expected during an unprecedented roll-out of more than 95,000 devices.
“This is a time that all of us are adjusting and we talk about flexibility and so we would like to have every student with a device on the first day of school but we understand there may need to be some flexibility with families who were not able to come during their scheduled time,” said Jerica Phillips, SCS Head of Communications.
Several parents we spoke to say they’re preparing to do more during the beginning of the school year to help their students get on track but they believe SCS has made the right decision to start class virtually.
“Trying to manage multiple curriculums and making sure that everybody is doing what they need to do,” said Grayson.
“Really scary. But I’m glad Shelby County decided to go virtual,” said Perez.
Several parents said they’ve tried to make their children comfortable at home by setting up desks and giving their students their own school areas to make them feel like they’re learning in a classroom environment.