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Some Shelby County Schools students return to Memphis Virtual School

“The Memphis Virtual School is a little bit different. It is an online curriculum,” said Valerie Matthews.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The pandemic has taught us how to adjust. That can’t be said more for Shelby County Schools, who not only changed their curriculum during the thick of the pandemic, but also carried on some of those new trends. What is best for some may not be best for all. That is a lesson Shelby County Schools learned during the pandemic when classes went virtual.

“We had a lot of students that learned for themselves that this was actually a better learning modality for them,” said Valerie Matthews, SCS Assistant Superintendent of Virtual Education and Logistics.

Rather than forcing everyone to return to in-person, there is a new option. That option is Memphis Virtual School.

“The Memphis Virtual School is a little bit different. It is an online curriculum,” said Matthews.

It is similar to an independent study. The school is only offered to students in grade 4th through 12th.

“They will engage in instructional videos. It is scaffolded in order to respond to where our students are with pacing and what they’ll actually experience. It is directly aligned with our standards and our pacing map,” said Matthews. “They receive the same instructions, as far as standards is concerned, that students are receiving while they’re in class.”

If needed, there is still that in-person touch.

“Let’s say that a student may be struggling with a specific concept. We have certified teachers who Memphis Virtual School employs. They reach out to those students to say, ‘Hey, I see that you’re having trouble here.’ They’ll walk them through those lessons,” said Matthews. “We also have tutors who are in-person where teachers or actually certified teachers interact with our students during after school hours.”

For students passionate about sports, they won’t miss out on the opportunity to play.

“Virtual school can participate in athletics with their zone schools,” said Matthews.

That goes for extracurricular activities as well. It’s SCS's way of adjusting with the times and leaving no student behind.