MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County students will go back to school virtually at the end of the month but many parents still have some questions about how this will work.
Superintendent Joris Ray made the announcement in a video last week. Ray also made another appearance on national TV Friday morning.
As classes move online, the superintendent said he is following the new COVID-19 cases here and even how other districts and states are reopening.
“Look at school districts that are around us, not too far from us. They’re having cases to pop up. Their teachers are getting sick, students getting sick,” said Ray.
Ray told FOX13 there isn’t a set timeline for how long students will be using virtual learning.
“We’re going to follow science. We really want to wait until the curve is flattened. If you see what New York has done, they are going to start school because the curve has been flattened there, and it’s safe to restart school,” he said.
Sports teams across Tennessee are allowed to have full-contact practices if approved locally but SCS teams are still limited.
“There’s no contact. Students are conditioning. That means they’re doing workouts socially distanced. They have masks on,” said Ray. “We’re taking all the precautions. Students are doing pretty much individual workouts.”
Ray said he’ll meet with coaches and student-athletes next week. The district will revisit how to handle fall sports after Labor Day.
“I think it’s hypocritical to say students can have full contact in sports and yet they can’t go to school. We prize our education system as a high-quality education first, but I do know sports binds us together,” he said.
Another big concern for parents is childcare during these virtual school hours. Right now the YMCA is offering free childcare for essential workers, and the district is working with them to solidify a plan for support during the school year.
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