Parents react after SCS announces students will start the school year learning remotely

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools start back on Aug. 31 and now all students will learn online opposed to in-person.

Before, virtual learning was just an option for parents but now this is the new way students will learn this coming fall and the mission is to make sure the students all have the resources to support the move to online learning

Two big things happened Monday.

SCS announced that it’s going back to school virtually and also giving teachers an option on whether or not they want to teach in the classroom or at home, plus they have resources available to answer questions for parents.

RELATED: County Commissioner & SCS Superintendent spar over questions about reopening schools

Resource stations are available at the Shelby County School board to assist parents, like Terese Hampton, who had a couple concerns about her kids' online portal.

“I need to know why I can’t get on my power school...,” Hampton said.

Hampton has two sons with different needs.

“I have a special needs child, and I have an 8th grader going the 9th grade,” she said.

SCS said it will provide all students with digital devices and a hotspot, all class tools Hampton said she needs at home.

“He is needing access to the internet hotspot, he needs a tablet and to make sure he is comfortable,” she said.

Superintendent Joris Ray said SCS made this decision after studies showed COVID-19 numbers are expected to peak in September.

RELATED: SCS concerned about students staying focused during virtual lessons

“I don’t want to put them in school and jeopardize their safety at and bringing it home to me, aids or anybody else that helps me at home,” she said. “I want to be safe and I want them to be safe.”

But not all parents are feeling SCS's decision.

“I don’t feel that they should just make these children stay at home,” said Tenese Mathews, SCS parent. “And the mothers and fathers who go to work don’t make any sense in my opinion whether they are at home or not.”

Mathews also has a special needs child. She said she works, and her son needs more than online learning can offer.”

“My child is a hands-on person,” Mathews said. “He needs someone beside him to guide him and point to something. He is not going to have that through virtual learning.”

She'd rather the students go back to the classroom.

“I am not against them having the children six-feet apart or wearing mask as long it’s not a mask that they can’t breathe in, kind of like a shield,” she said.

CLICK HERE to view the full message from Dr. Ray.