Shelby County Schools (SCS) unveiled a detailed plan for in-person learning – but they haven’t offered any reopening dates or criteria. These updates were shared on Thursday by SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray.
SCS also created several simulation videos for what their in-person schooling and transportation would look like. Masked students engaged in all their school activities socially-distanced, including meals. And, students who opt for in-person schooling would still have to learn through virtual instruction.
In response to the many community and parental concerns about reopening, the school system compiled a list of frequently asked questions. SCS also noted that student vaccinations wouldn’t be mandatory, and that students with teachers who opt to continue virtual instruction would be assisted by other staff members.
SCS is the only district that doesn’t offer any in-learning options whatsoever.
Ray announced on January 29 that they would be delaying their planned February 8 return to in-person learning indefinitely. Ray acknowledged that officials had indicated that in-person learning options were safe to resume.
“But let me be clear: I will not politicize [safety.] There are multiple factors, and I and our dedicated board are weighing all of them. From the discussions of vaccinations to the guidance of the CDC, schools are safe to open – but only if we all work together to reduce the infection rate in our community,” stated Ray. “We’ve come too far by faith to turn our backs on safety now. I pledge to you that we will return and will return stronger. Now is not the time to deviate from our successful course of action. For those who say we need to get back to school, we say: school is in session.”
Ray alleged that the local health department attributed SCS closures as “essential” in reducing the spread and saving lives.
The other district that hadn’t resumed in-person learning options last month, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), began phased-in reopening on Thursday.
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