Superintendent to update SCS re-entry plan

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools is holding a community engagement meeting, where a possible plan about a return to schools could be discussed.

The Memphis Chamber of Commerce has asked SCS leaders to consider a return to in-person learning.

The pressure to get SCS students back into school buildings is heating up.

RELATED: SCS leans on data that may not give true snapshot of COVID in county

Local health leaders said a return to classrooms is possible.

Tenn. Governor Bill Lee’s plan to give SCS a deadline to return to in-person learning resulted in an indefinite delay.

Students were scheduled to return to schools on Feb. 8, but that plan was delayed last week in a message from Superintendent Joris Ray.

View SCS’ re-entry plan here.

Many parents have expressed mixed feelings about their children returning to classrooms during the ongoing pandemic.

Recent data released by SCS showed many students are falling behind and not meeting state standards in virtual learning.

Diagnostic numbers for August to November were presented at the school board academic review meeting this week. The chief academic officer for Shelby County Schools says the numbers are troubling. He says the testing data shows many students are not meeting state standards.

“Our kids in certain areas are struggling in this pandemic. The benchmark goal for grades 3-5 is 40%, in middle grades, it’s 35%, and in high school, it’s 30%,” said Antonio Burt.

While some may point to the data to argue for in-person learning, the district said in December, only 32% of families chose to send their kids back to schools.

View a live stream of today’s meeting at 4 p.m. here.