MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County School Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray announced schools will be closed starting Friday, March 13, until March 30.
“Due to national developments and rapidly changing conditions regarding the spread of COVID-19, we feel this is the best course of action,” said Ray. “Closing schools is never a decision that we take lightly. Considering these unique circumstances, we must lead through the moment.”
Students were scheduled to go on Spring Break March 16 to 20. Leaders have added the second week so the district can “conduct a full assessment of risks for students and staff who will be traveling during Spring Break and perform deep cleaning in all District buildings.”
In order to make up instructional time, the district will be utilizing the six days that were previously reserved for severe weather.
All salaried and hourly employees will be paid during the extended break. The Central Office and the administrative buildings will remain open during business hours.
There are no cases of coronavirus within the schools at this time.
“I was happy about it because I would rather spend more money for my kids to be safe and at home,” mother Marquita Batts said.
But not all guardians were relieved. SCS grandparent of six Sammy Clark said though he’s not too happy, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
“Well, just being hopeful that everything will turn out right,” Clark said. “With something like this, you don’t know how things are going to turn out.”
Following the district’s announcement, Freedom Preparatory Academy announced they will also close all campuses from Friday, March 13, through Friday, March 27. Students will return to school on March 30.
Their campuses include Westwood Elementary, Whitehaven Elementary (Millbranch), Westwood Middle (Flagship), Whitehaven Middle (Brownlee) and the Freedom Preparatory High School.
KIPP Memphis Collegiate Elementary will be closed from March 13 to March 30. They said they will be sending home activities to make sure students continue learning while not at school.
Millington Municipal Schools released a statement saying they are monitoring the situation with state and local officials. They have not made a decision about closing.
Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington schools will not be closing at this time. They said the situation is fluid and they will reevaluate the situation if new information emerges.