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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Friday is the deadline for Shelby County Schools' parents to choose learning options for next semester

November 6th is now the deadline for parents to decide on in-person or virtual learning for the spring.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — UPDATE 10/27/2020 - (NEWS RELEASE) - Shelby County Schools is extending the deadline for families to choose their learning options for the District’s phased reentry plan, currently set to begin in January. 

The student learning options survey will now be available in PowerSchool through Friday, November 6. 

Remember, it is essential for all families to declare their preferred learning options so we know how many students will be attending when it is safe to return. This will allow us to adequately prepare for staffing, student services and various daily operations at all schools. Only parents who did not submit a learning option this summer or wish to change their original choice should submit an option. Parents who do not make a choice will automatically be enrolled to in-person instruction.

Visit the SCS Newsroom for additional information regarding the phased-in reopening plan announced last week.

SCS stated re-entry date is tentatively for January 4th for certain groups (PreK-5, Exceptional Students), January 19th (everyone else). Learn more HERE.

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10/24/2020 - Shelby County Schools' parents must decide by October 30 if they would like their students to return to a traditional classroom or remain learning at home for the rest of the school year. Families who do not have a learning option selected by the deadline will automatically be enrolled in the in-person option. 

SCS parents, like Julie Tolbert, are taking into account a massive spike of Covid-19 as they weigh their options for the spring. Tolbert said, despite the spike of more than 400 cases reported on Saturday in Shelby County, she thinks its best for her children to return to a brick-and-mortar setting. 

"You have students who have never been online before and now they’re online 10 hours per day," Tolbert said. "That’s just not healthy for them."

She has four kids enrolled in SCS who all agree that the workload virtually is difficult, and it's been hard to connect with classmates and teachers at school. She is also confident that SCS could ensure sanitary classrooms and protocols. 

"I think it has greatly affected their education and also has affected their home life," Tolbert said.

Infectious disease specialist Stephen Threlkeld said parents should consider the age of their child and the district's safety measures. He said typically younger students are the safest and the risk increases by age with more social gatherings. 

Tolbert's 7th-grade son, Dylan, said virtual learning has been "okay" because he does better with hands-on learning. He said issues with the computer programs have been a distraction from his education. 

"When you’re trying to get on it there’s over thousands of kids on that certain website trying to do it," Dylan Tolbert said. "There are glitches when multiple people are on it."

He enjoys interacting with his teachers and hopes he is back with them in January. 

"I would rather someone be explaining it to me face to face instead of not being able to see what they’re doing," Tolbert said.