SCS answering parents’ back-to-school questions in virtual meeting

Updated: Jul. 13, 2020 at 5:56 AM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - Parents have a tough decision this week. All families with children who go to Shelby County Schools have to decide whether or not they want their child to go to school or learn from home.

On Monday the SCS school board approved Aug. 31 as the first day of school, with June 16 as the end date and a fall break for the 2020-2021 school year.

This is leaving many parents with a lot of questions.

If you send your child to school, what safety precautions will the school take? If you keep your child at home, how will the school make sure they don’t fall behind?

Jerica Phillips, SCS spokesperson, says 77% of parents have already committed to online learning. Parents have until July 18 to choose between online learning or in-person classes.

The virtual community conversation SCS is hosting Monday night will hopefully help parents make that choice.

During the virtual event, SCS leaders will discuss their SAFE Re-Entry plan and answer parent’s questions. The town hall will begin ‪at 6 p.m. and families can join in on the SCS Facebook and Twitter pages, ‪ and C19TV.

Superintendent Joris Ray appeared on CNN Sunday to discuss reopening plans. He said he will follow data and science when it comes to deciding whether or not to reopen schools.

“Because at the end of the day the virus is fluid, doesn’t have a timetable and we are going to keep the community here safe. We were the first to close to be sheltered in place right here this school district before the state, the city of county government,” said Ray.

Phillips says the district is working closely with the Shelby County Health Department.

“We’ll be waiting to hear more from the health department around what their concerns and guidance would be for opening schools and the superintendent will make that call, hopefully by the end of July,” said Phillips.

SCS has also launched a hotline for parents whose children receive special education. Parents can call the hotline and ask questions about their child’s specific individualized education plans under the two options for the fall. You can reach the hotline by calling the number on your screen.

The hotline will be open every day this week from 9 a.m. to 4 pm.

Phillips also says the district is exploring more virtual ways for students to participate in art and at-home activities.

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