Shelby County Schools plans for January return to in-person learning

SCS to offer in-school instruction in January

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Schools says they are working on a phased return to in-person learning in January.

The district is asking parents to submit a student learning option for the remainder of the year between Oct. 21 and 30.

Parents may choose in-person or virtual learning for the remainder of the year. Parents do not need to resubmit their choice if it has not changed since the summer.

SCS learning options for the spring 2021 semester.
SCS learning options for the spring 2021 semester. (Source: SCS)

Students who do not have a learning option chosen by Oct. 30 will automatically be enrolled in in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year.

The district says it is planning for a phased return beginning with grades Pre-K through 5 and students with exceptional needs in early January.

Grades 6 through 12 will follow in mid-January.

“Our students, they’ve adjusted well but nothing will ever take the place of in-person instruction,” said Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray during Monday during a virtual academic performance committee meeting.

Ray says he met with each school board member last week for their input about the plan. Whether the parent chooses virtual or in-person learning, instruction will still be delivered over Microsoft Teams.

SCS plans for phased re-entry

Teachers still have the option of teaching from home, so the district is looking for the community to help.

“While students are at school in the classroom and the teachers are at home teaching from a remote place, they will be using teams. But we will have a classroom facilitator inside the room monitoring the students,” said SCS Deputy Superintendent of Schools Dr. Angela Whitelaw Monday

Even with plans to return to schools, Ray cautions that this is still a pandemic and COVID-19 cases are spiking across the state.

Students and parents should be prepared for school rolling closures.

“I want to be very clear, a plan is just a plan no different than a reopening plan we’ve always had We make adjustments along the way to ensure the safety of our children,” said Ray.

Ray also said Monday students will keep the same teachers no matter if they choose in-person or virtual learning.

Submit your option and get more information at

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