Parents anxious as Mid-South school districts work on plans to reopen

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As August gets closer, parents across the Mid-South are growing anxious.

In the face of a pandemic, parents want to know if and when their children can go back to school.

Teunica Allen has three kids who attend Shelby County schools and will be returning next year. They are in first grade, third grade, and ninth grade. She’s eager to get them out of the house and back into the classroom.

“You get no time, constantly cleaning and cooking,” Allen said. “Eating like crazy. Ain’t even hungry, they eating.”

SCS is planning for a safe return, but it’s going to take time.

A special task force made up of educators, government officials and private citizens is trying to figure out things like bussing, class sizes and class schedules.

“It’s kind of hard, but we are most definitely asking the public to be patient with us,” SCS Board Member Stephanie Love said Tuesday night.

In Bartlett, the school district has formed a committee to come up with a re-entry plan.

Germantown schools claim to be ahead of the game. Superintendent Jason Manuel addressed parents in an online meeting this week.

He said the district has been buying thousands of digital devices for years and is prepared to hold school online if need be.

“I hate to sound like The Million Dollar Man movie opening, but we have the technology; we have the tools,” Manuel said. “As a district, our staff is trained, and we are prepared to fully move into a virtual environment.”

Other school districts WREG reached out to had little to say.

In Mississippi, DeSoto and Tate County Schools are still in limbo.

In Arkansas, the Forrest City School District is waiting on guidance from the governor.

SCS is also considering online learning, but the plans officials have are costly. At this point, it’s unclear if or when those plans will happen.

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