SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Many teachers applauded Shelby County School Superintendent Joris Ray after he announced the school district will use virtual learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the announcement was made, Memphis Shelby United staged a “die-in” to call attention to the dangers of classroom teaching during a pandemic.
Some of their concerns were erased Monday when Superintendent Ray announced virtual learning for all schools until further notice.
“Hey, whoa. We are excited about that. That was the right decision for the safety of all students, staff, teachers, everybody in the district” said Jolie Madihalli of the Memphis Shelby County Education Association.
The public school educators at the rally Monday evening told FOX13 they still have concerns even as the district is going virtual.
Shelby County Schools says “all teachers will have an option to teach remotely. If they agree to the remote virtual instruction criteria, principals may grant permission to teach from a remote setting.” But some educators at the rally said they are still suspicious.
“Let’s say you are the only person who teaches Latin or a particular subject, you can’t be out of the building,” said Will Kelley, a Kirby High School teacher.
SCS sent FOX13 its July 22 Schools Reentry Plans Document. The 9-page document states “teachers will be able to select the virtual option after meeting specific criteria in the District’s Virtual Instruction Telework Agreement.”
CLICK HERE to see the ‘Return To School Plans’ for each district in the Mid-South
SCS says details of the agreement will be released soon.
The Memphis Shelby County Education Association said they need to see what is in the agreement.
“Do they agree to have someone come in and examine their work area and their home? Do they agree to be penalized if something happens to their internet service?” said Jolie Madihalli of the Memphis Shelby County Education Association.
Memphis Shelby Education United said while questions will linger, it wishes other municipal school districts would follow SCS’s lead and completely go virtual until COVID-19 figures from the health department show the pandemic is under control.
Click here for more information for parents and teachers about SCS’s re-entry plans.
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