Week two at Shelby Co. Schools underway after week one impacted by power outages & equipment failures


SHELBY CO., Tenn. (localmemphis.com) — The Shelby Co. School district hopes to have a strong second week of school after the first week of classes left students without air conditioning.

Last week, nine SCS schools had to send students home early due to having no air-consisting in extreme heat. The district said it was largely due to power outages that were out of the district’s control and aging equipment.

After a midweek storm rolled through Memphis last week, MLGW power outages impacted seven of the school.

Additionally, the district said two more schools were impacted by aging equipment.

At Kirby High School, the HVAC system couldn’t handle the extreme heat and at Westwood High, the chilling system was damaged during the storms. 

“We, again, are pushing for those investments and capital needs and deferred maintenance. At Westwood, we know we have some aging equipment and across the district we may have some aging equipment so that is our goal is to be able to purchase new equipment,” SCS Deputy Chief of Communications Jerica Phillips said.

Phillips said some schools are equipped with generators but not all.

The district didn’t initially cancel classes with the hope that MLGW would restore power in time. 

Instead, students were kept at schools with no air conditioning all morning until they were served lunch and dismissed before noon.

“After we learned that there would be extensive time for those repairs, that is when Superintendent Ray made the call to go ahead and do the early dismissals,” Phillips said. 

MLGW has since restored all power and the district has also fixed its equipment. The second week is expected to begin with no interruptions.

Phillips said teachers and principals will work hard to cover missed instructional time.

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