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Online or in person: Shelby County Schools gives parents until July 18 to decide where their kids will learn this fall

SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray presented the two options at a school board meeting Tuesday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tuesday, the Shelby County School Board met to discuss reopening options for the upcoming fall and spring semester. SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray laid out the district’s return to school plan, giving two options to parents this fall.

“I want to see a strong virtual plan," said Dianechia Fields of Memphis Lift, a parent advocacy group. "As seen with my youngest son, we see that it works.”

In a virtual meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Ray said starting July 6, parents can select in-school instruction with enhanced health and safety protocol. Or, they can select at home teacher led virtual instruction with the same digital curriculum platform and learning pace as in-school instruction.

In a series of re-entry surveys, 69% of parents said they support online learning while 27% of families support in person learning at school.

Ray is considering a shift in the start date of the 2020-21 school year to August 31 after Governor Bill Lee extended the state of emergency order to August 29. The 175-day calendar will be maintained.

Ray said the district will be seeking feedback from families and educators before the proposal is brought before the school board for approval. 

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