Questions still linger for parents and teachers about SCS return

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The time is now for parents in Shelby County to make the choice to send their kids to school or keep them home to learn.

Memphis Lift believed there were still so many questions about how this will go.

Related: SCS parents can now begin choosing between at home or in school learning

So, the organization sent a list of questions to the school board on behalf of parents and teachers who were still unclear with the planning for students.

They believed things were moving too fast as COVID-19 numbers in Shelby County continued to rise.

Renee Smith is a grandmother of students in Shelby County.

“How can you truly keep a 5-year-old safe during this?” Smith asked.

She said she was one of the many parents and guardians who had questions about the school district’s new entry plan for the upcoming school year.

Related: SCS parents have until July 18 to choose online or in-person classes for students

Ashlyn Sparks is apart of Memphis Lift.

“We need details on the training,” said Sparks. “If parents are going to commit to a semester-long virtual learning planning for their safety, for their family’s safety and for their kid’s safety, they need to know if they’re going to be trained on what’s going on.”

Memphis Lift wanted answers to questions like how are schools going to assess the learning loss of students due to the pandemic and how will parents, students and teachers be up to speed on the training for new programs and learning materials?

“If you’re going to ask people to make a semester-long decision in a matter of days, then those fine details have to be there,” Sparks said. “You don’t have much grace, for we don’t know what’s going on, because we’ve never done this before.”

Related: Parents left with questions after SCS board approves laptop distribution to students

According to the district, parents have until July 18 to make their decision but Memphis Lift said it may need to be extended.

“It would be wonderful if they extended the deadline for parents to make this extremely important decision because we see that there are so many important things that are needed,” said Teresena Medlock with Memphis Lift.

Shelby County Schools officials spoke about the possibility of school beginning August 31.

The district planned to provide devices for all students and internet access to those who need it.

The district also said they’re ensuring the safest environment possible for students who go to school.