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“This is an extremely complex situation" | Shelby County Education Director on reopening schools amid COVID-19

The Shelby County Education Director spoke to county commissioners about the obstacles looking ahead to the fall semester.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s the understatement of the summer. Shelby County Education Director Dr. Cedric Gray Is talking about reopening schools in a coronavirus world.

“This is an extremely complex situation,” Dr. Gray says. “Plans will adjust accordingly.”

You can depend on that. Since March, schools closed, restaurants closed, then restaurants reopened, and now they’re closing again. Educators are watching all of this, knowing full well that kids are a lot different than restaurants.

Dr. Gray told Shelby County Commissioners a recent survey indicated 42% of them liked a hybrid style approach: some classes in person, others on computer. The other teachers split on either all computer or all in person.

Keep watching, he told commissioners.

“I encourage you to stay connected to the district information channels and the Shelby County Health Department briefings.”

And while we’re at it, what about the parents? Children normally take to a computer like a duck to water. Parents aren’t like that at all. Dr. Gray says this is important.

“Districts must address parents’ various levels of comfort and provide spaces for learning and training.”

SCS is proposing that classes begin August 31st.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, SCS has been working steadily to make decisions that prioritize the health and safety of the students, families, employees and the community we serve. The development of best practices through this frequently changing health crisis is a historic undertaking, but we are committed to returning stronger.

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