MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Back in June, Shelby County Schools announced a plan to place a digital device in each student's hands.
The devices are scheduled to be distributed sometime next month.
"We have to stop the negotiation of the safety of people's lives because we are desperate to resume normal routines in one of the most abnormal times in our history," said Joris Ray, Shelby County Schools Superintendent.
This morning, Ray dropped a bombshell.
All 95,000 students will begin learning from home.
“Science tells us that by September, the city will be experiencing a similar trajectory as New York City,” Ray said. “And this fear does not account for students returning to school.”
Shelby County's coronavirus data continues to rise.
The overall positivity rate is now at its highest point since the health department started releasing testing data back in March.
"Direction signs on floors, space in desks and masks, cannot make a school safe," Ray said.
As a result, every student will be provided with a device.
Also, internet hotspots will be provided to 25 percent of the student population based on need.
"Students will have live interactions with their teachers and peers every day and closely follow the routine of a regular school day," Ray said.
Students enrolled in grades Pre-K through second grade will receive a tablet, Third through eighth-grade students will receive a tablet with a keyboard attached and Ninth through twelfth-grade students will receive a laptop.
"As the leader of the largest school district in the state I must do what is best for all students," Ray said.
As of Friday, 80 percent of the 47,000 parents who registered their kids for the fall opted for virtual learning.
So, this should not be much of a change for most families in the district.
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