MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More than 5,000 Shelby County School students don’t have their devices.
“I think they should have given us a choice. Some children are better with a teacher in front of them,” said Anita Bradford, SCS Student Grandparent.
Anita Bradford’s three grandchildren are Shelby County Schools students. She monitors them every day while they attend school virtually.
The district said more than 90,000 students have the digital device they need to learn, but 5,000 are unaccounted for.
“We are reaching out and providing additional levels of communication and support to find out more about those students registered with us in that 5,000 to see if they’re facing obstacles,” said Jerica Phillips, Shelby County Schools Spokesperson.
Phillips said the 95,000 total is based on last year’s enrollment.
“There may be a case where they have moved to grandma’s house and are no longer in the district. So student transfers play a part,” said Phillips.
Phillips said currently they are allowing students to use their personal device to attend school as well.
“Many students in that five thousand group could be using a personal device, which is why they may not have picked up their device. But it is our goal to have all on their district device throughout the school year,” said Phillips.
SCS said it is calling to remind parents to pick up their kid’s device. However, some contact information on file is not up to date.
“We are doing our diligence to contact and engage those families,” said Phillips.
Currently, parents can only pick up devices at the designated distribution sites.
Something parents without transportation may have difficulty doing.
“We are looking at options around transportation,” said Phillips.
Some people in the community think the district should take tougher actions against parents if their child is missing out on learning.
“They already have a law in place that if you’re not attending school, they hold your parents responsible. So they will have to get on it,” said Bradford.
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