MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools said it has no plans to send the state of Tennessee information about the number COVID-19 cases at individual schools.
Tennessee Department of Education launched its "District Dashboard" Tuesday. The interactive site breaks down the number of COVID cases by both school district and school.
However, don't expect to see any school-specific Shelby County Schools numbers on the site. SCS doesn't plan to turn that information over.
The dashboard allows anyone to see the number of students and staff across the state with COVID-19, and it also shows the number of cases within a district. The dashboard also drills down further to the school level.
Public schools and charter schools are supposed to report the information weekly to the state.
In Shelby County, municipal schools are either reporting school-specific information or plan to report that information in the coming weeks. Information about the number of cases at specific schools are also provided on Millington, Germantown, and Collierville's district websites.
But SCS is only reporting the total cases of COVID-19 in the district, and not reporting school level information.
A district spokesperson said the reason they are not reporting the school specific information is because they are the largest district in the state, and it's disruptive for schools to be targeted continuously in the media and headlines regarding COVID-19.
When we asked Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray about it, he wouldn't directly answer why school level information isn't being reported.
Instead this was his response.
"We are going to continue to apprise our families and I think it's very important for our families to hear directly from us when we have COVID cases in school," said Dr. Ray.
The district does notify parents when a someone in the school has COVID, but parents said they have no idea at any given time how many students are actively infected and out sick.
When we pointed other districts in Shelby County are reporting, Ray said, "You know, at the end of the day, we are going to continue to follow the law and we are going to do what the state requires us to do, and we are going to continue to prioritize our families and the safety of our students," said Ray.
A district spokesperson said reporting school-level data isn't mandated by the state or federal government - it's voluntary, and with more than 200 schools, it would be a monumental task to report all those numbers.