MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County School Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray says students and staff will get an update about plans to reopen schools before winter break which begins on Dec. 21.
“We are going to continue to do what’s best for Shelby County schools and all employees,” said Ray during a virtual School board business meeting.
In October Ray announced a phased return to in-person learning starting Jan. 4 for Pre-K through 5th graders and exceptional learners.
Sixth through 12th graders would return on Jan. 19. However, Ray has repeatedly reminded students and staff to be flexible because the plan could change.
SCS has remained 100% virtual since closing its doors, back in March.
Ray reminded the board Tuesday that SCS was the first school district to close even before the state of emergency or stay at home orders, but there has been a big concern about students falling behind in their classes during virtual learning.
“No one is more worried about learning loss than your superintendent and our great school board, but I want to be clear we can not negotiate safety,” said Ray. “We are balancing concern with learning loss with losing lives.”
Shelby county is averaging 361 new COVID-19 cases a day over the last seven days and that number is expected to grow as we inch towards the Christmas holiday.
Tuesday the school board moved forward with plans to return to in-person learning which included spending over $425,000 for acrylic student desk barriers.