Shelby County Schools leaders seek more parent feedback about restarting school

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nearly three months after closing schools due to COVID-19, Shelby County Schools leaders are moving forward with reopening plans.

But school leaders said they can’t make any decisions without input from parents.

SCS will host its first of three re-entry listening sessions on Monday. It’s an opportunity for parents to share concerns, ask questions and get information about the upcoming school year.

“It is unfortunate now we are in the stage where numbers are growing daily, so that really has to shift our thought around what it would look like in August, and again it’s going to take everybody, all hands on deck to make it work,” SCS school board chair Miska Clay-Bibbs said.

That’s why the listening sessions will be a critical part of the re-entry task force’s plans that are scheduled to be released next month.

“We’re on-schedule to release that re-entry plan, and we wanted to make sure that before we release anything, we incorporate the family and community feedback,” SCS deputy chief of communications Jerica Phillips said.

Members have been meeting for the last month and already sent out a survey to parents that has received 12,000 responses.

“Starting today, we will actually give out some of those survey results at the listening sessions,” Clay-Bibbs said.

District leaders said the safety of everyone is a top priority.

“The most important thing is to understand how parents are feeling and them to also understand that when we talk safety, it means understanding PPE equipment, and there will be sometimes kids have to be at home doing classes online,” Clay-Bibbs said.

It’s a reality that will mean more adjustments and training for parents.

There is limited seating at Monday’s session, but parents can watch it on Facebook and listen in on FM 88.5 when it starts at 5:45 p.m.

Parents can also email any questions they have to SCSRe-Entry@scsk12.org.

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