Head of chamber asks superintendent to consider reopening SCS schools

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The head of the Greater Memphis Chamber is asking Superintendent Ray to consider reopening Shelby County Schools.

In a letter sent to Ray and school board members on Monday, Beverly Robertson thanked the superintendent for the district’s “hard, complicated work you and your teams have advanced in sustaining remote learning” but also expressed frustration with reopening schools.

“This frustration has escalated in recent weeks with the missed opportunities to share re-opening plans, the verbal clashes with officials in Nashville, and Friday’s announcement that schools will be closed indefinitely – a word that exacerbates concerns,” the letter said.

RELATED: Shelby County Schools delay return to in-person learning

Robertson also thanked the superintendent for the actions taken early on in the pandemic but went on to point out recent data including the CDC guidelines recommending that students return to in-person instruction with appropriate safety protocols.

The Chamber’s letter asked the following questions:

• What specifically does SCS need in order for teachers and students to return?

• What pilots or beta tests at selected schools have been run to outline the operations for a potential return?

• What benchmarked strategies are being implemented to get teachers back to work?

• What is the vaccine distribution plan for teachers once they are available and how can we support it?

• What are the aggressive strategies and the overall plan for addressing learning loss with SCS schools and students?

The letter also expressed concern over learning loss.

Beverly Robertson is scheduled to appear on Good Morning Memphis Tuesday morning.

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