SCS considering plans to get students back in the classroom

SCS considering plans to get students back in the classroom

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Schools is figuring out how the district plans to return to in-person learning.

There’s no timetable for when that will happen.

Meanwhile ,students and teachers have been virtually learning for five and a half weeks.

“It’s been going well. We are exhausted and we are really looking forward to fall break starting,” said SCS Parent Sylvia Crum.

All things considered, Crum says her two children are adjusting well to their new virtual learning schedule, especially her fifth grader. Her youngest child is doing well, but needs a little more help.

“I know that my 7-year-old is still learning to read and having a teacher that is in-person with him in the classroom encouraging him and doing those extra activities, it would make a huge difference,” said Crum.

SCS says they have no specific date for when children will return to in-person learning -- but when they do, the district’s youngest learners may be the first to return to the classroom.

“We certainly know that our early grades, those students do need additional support,” said SCS Chief of Communications Jerica Phillips.

Phillips says the district is considering a phased approach starting with Pre-K through third graders and exceptional learners or students with special needs.

“We hope to release more about our reopening metrics in regard to COVID-19 cases in Shelby County in the coming days,” said Phillips.

Those metrics will include things like new case count and positivity rate.

Phillips says the district will consult with the school board and health officials to make a final decision.

Shelby County Health Director Alisa Haushalter told County Commissioners last month that the county may be in a position to reconsider in-class learning at the beginning of 2021.

However, the final decision lies with the district.

Crum says although she prefers in-person learning, she thinks virtual learning is the best option for her family.

“As we stand here at the beginning of flu season, I know we’ll need a plan eventually for that but I feel pretty nervous that we would even be thinking about when we return,” said Crum.

Crum says she knows she’s lucky to work from home to help her children.

“I hope all of us can remember we are in a pandemic and this is not a normal year in any way and I hope we can support the children and families who need more support,” said Crum.

The school district is offering some optional enrichment programs including a learning academy during fall break and Saturdays.

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