Thousands of Shelby County Schools students get back to in-person learning

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Temperature checks, masks, and social distancing were some things added to the list as thousands of Shelby County Schools students, faculty, and staff headed back to the classroom.

About 30 percent of SCS students chose to go back to school in person. Some of those attend Riverwood Elementary School in the heart of Cordova. Monday, parents, and caregivers lined up to drop students off. First, they got their temperatures checked, and once cleared, walked inside to start their day.

“It was very exciting to get back to school,” said Myosha Parker, the mother of a kindergartener at Riverwood. “He’s used to pretty much structure. So virtual home learning was a little bit stressful for him, especially him being the only child and in kindergarten as well. So he really missed being around his peers and actually being in the environment.”

Parents pulled up, kids got their temperatures checked, and teachers walked them inside. Safety protocols were put in place at all Shelby County schools. Water fountains were shut off, and bottled water was supplied for kids along with other things to keep them safe.

“Other safety protocols that we’re taking include masks, of course -- all students will be required to enter the building with their masks. Even at the bus stop, they need to have their mask on,” said SCS spokesperson Jerica Phillips. “We’ll be able to provide some disposable masks if students don’t have them but certainly as they enter the building, there will be screenings, and of course, we have enhanced safety protocols in the building with signage as well as additional hand sanitizer and other handwashing abilities throughout the day.”

Phillips, also a mom to 3, was excited about her children heading off to school and reminded parents to make sure they communicate as we navigate through these uncharted and unfamiliar times.

March 12 marks one year since the students have been out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next Monday, the remainder of SCS students in grades 6 through 12 head back to class.