MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Nearly 1 year after Shelby County Schools ended in-person learning and after multiple delays, Friday, Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said it’s time to re-open schools.
Ray made the announcement this afternoon surrounded by several school board members and senior staff.
Ray is mandating teachers return to the classroom on February 22nd.
He said the first two days will be used to reacclimate teachers to the classroom.
Students will join them the following month.
Pre-k through 5th graders will return March 1st.
6th through 12th graders will return March 8th.
Parents who want their students to continue virtual learning have the option to do so.
Dr. Ray was asked how much pressure from the governor and legislators to return to in-person learning played into making this decision.
This is what he had to say:
”We’re going to always do what’s best for children but also we have to do what’s best for the school district as well and at the end of the day we’re going to follow science, we’re going to continue to follow science but you guys know what was said in the media,”
Dr. Ray said Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter has advised the school district that it is safe to open schools.
He also noted that the steady drop in COVID-19 cases played a role in his decision.