Collierville senior concerned with school’s plans to reopen

Collierville senior concerned with school’s plans to reopen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In less than one week, students at Collierville High School will have to decide if they’ll shift from the current hybrid learning model to in-person learning or go all virtual.

“My mom asked me that last night and I almost started crying out of frustration because I don’t know what to do,” Collierville High School senior Taryn Miskowiec said.

Miskowiec likes the current hybrid model.

She was disappointed when she got a letter notifying parents and students that Collierville High School will move away from its hybrid plan starting Jan. 6.

Instead, the district will offer in-person learning four days a week for all students with virtual classes on Fridays.

Students who are currently learning virtually can keep doing that five days a week or return in-person.

Students must let the district know their decision by Nov. 2.

“We have a lot of concerns too about if we go back -- all of us in school. How long is it going to take until we’re shut down?” Miskowiec asked.

After talking with her peers, Miskowiec wrote a 5-page letter to Superintendent Gary Lilly and the School Board.

“With all of us being in that school, it’s obviously a lot more people than we have currently, and they have openly said they cannot guarantee us even 3 feet of distance between each other,” Miskowiec said.

The letter also addresses concerns with mental health and the stress of adjusting to a new routine halfway through the school year.

Miskowiec tells WMC Action News 5 Dr. Lilly emailed her back thanking her for her letter but said the changes are necessary because some students are struggling academically.

He wrote: “From strictly an academic standpoint, we have seen a tremendous number of students struggling and even failing, which not only affects them not but can have lasting detrimental effects later.”

“It didn’t satisfy me because it didn’t feel like he actually addressed the points in my letter,” Miskowiec said.

Miskowiec says she doesn’t know what she will decide come Nov. 2, but says she wishes she could continue with the current hybrid learning model.

WMC Action News 5 reached out to the School Board independently for a comment, and the Superintendent responded with the following statement:

“The Collierville Schools administration and Board of Education appreciate hearing the perspectives of our students.  Several have raised very good points that touch upon some of the same issues that we have grappled with as we have sought workable solutions to best meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of students while mitigating health risks to the extent possible for students, faculty, and staff.  While there are no easy answers, all families will have the opportunity to choose between in-person and virtual learning models for the second semester.”

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