SCS leaders discuss school year calendar options to makeup for loss classroom time

Watch: SCS leaders discuss school year calendar options to makeup for loss classroom time

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Extra hours, shorter breaks and longer semesters are just some of the options Shelby County School leaders are talking about for the upcoming school year.

District staff said these options were developed to address the loss of instructional time caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shelby County School leaders discussed some of the different options for the upcoming school year this week.

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  • 175 days with an extended hour for both semesters: 25 extra days
  • 175 days with an extended hour for one semester: 12 extra days
  • 175 days with 5 half-days in the fall: 2.5 extra days
  • 175 days with 3 half-days in the spring: 1.5 extra days
  • 185 days with reduced fall and winter breaks: 5 extra days
  • 190 days with reduced fall and winter breaks: 10 extra days

Johnnie Hatten said her family is taking advantage of virtual learning this summer to make sure her 8th-grade student is back on track this fall.

“I’m ok with the extra days if they’re going to be effective and if it help my child get to the next grade, be promoted I’m with those days,” Hatten said.

Initially, the option of Saturday school was on the table but the district said they removed it after getting some negative feedback.

All of these options will cost the district. Staff said keeping the same 175-day school year with extended hours would cost as much as an additional $67 million, and the options with reduced breaks would cost closer to $14 million more.

Either way, SCS said they can use some of the federal funding from the CARES Act to cover the additional loss of learning expense.

Hatten said she supports any option that allows teachers to foster better relationships with students.

“I think that’s going to be key because of all the trauma that’s been going on through their mind and things they’re unsettled about but just having that opportunity to foster that connectiveness with student teacher, I think that’s going to be mean a lot,” Hatten said.

None of these calendar options are finalized. The board is expected to vote at the end of June.

To receive more feedback from parents, the district will host several school re-entry listening sessions for parents and students that begin Monday, June 22.

The first session will be at 5:45 p.m. at Douglas High School.

You can also share feedback online here.