Collierville parents rip district’s re-entry plan

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COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — Passions soared at Tuesday night’s Collierville Schools board meeting as parents laid into to the district’s re-entry plan.

When classes resume Aug. 17, the hybrid learning model that’s being offered to parents would see students attend classes two days per week in-person and three days online.

But the majority of parents who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting wanted in-person classes five days a week.

“I’m appalled,” one parent said. “I’m absolutely appalled at the decisions that are being made here.”

“Financially, if I take off three days a week, I lose 60% of my salary,” parent Lauren Riley said.

Some parents went as far as picketing outside Collierville High School on Monday, but the school board said parents shouldn’t be directing their anger at the district.

“People don’t like it. I understand that. I don’t like it either,” school board chair Mark Hansen said.

School leaders said they were all set to go with a five-day in-person re-entry plan with three feet of social distancing, which is something the American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed.

But the district said the Shelby County Health Department insisted on six feet of social distancing, and they simply don’t have the space.

“Keep at it. This is not y’all’s fault,” parent Chris Dickens said.

“The Shelby County Health Department’s a joke. They are an absolute joke,” another parent said.

Some parents also took issue with the other option that’s being offered to them: five days per week of online learning with what the school calls Collierville Virtual Academy.

“The course catalog for the Virtual Academy is substandard,” one parent said.

“I’m afraid that we’re setting all of these kids up for failure,” parent Gina Harrison said.

Collierville Schools said it will notify the entire school any time a student tests positive for COVID-19.

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