SCS officials announce task force, consider strategies for reopening schools

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools Superintendent Joris Ray was at East High School making an announcement Monday on a strategy to reopen public schools.

The plan is called Strategic Action for Flexible Education, or SAFE, a contingency plan to reopen schools, Ray said.

Ray announced a task force to advise schools on a longer term strategy for reopening.

This 15-person task force is made up of educators, city council members, even a parent and student.
They’ll be meeting weekly to discuss what next school year might look like, but everything remains fluid right now.

DaCharius Brooks is a student at East High School who is apart of the team.

“I was expecting what we would call a normal senior year heading back to school, but with the shake up of corona it’s like, it’s just a new experience for all us.” Brooks said.

Ray said the coming school year would likely involve a hybrid model of both online and in-person learning.

“We also may have to consider a complete online movement where we have only a few students inside of our buildings at any given time,” Assistant Superintendent for Shelby County Schools Reggie Jackson said.

“As the COVID-19 crisis is challenging districts across the country to accelerate the implementation of blended and distance learning plans, SCS is working to create a bold and progressive plan that would lead to all students and teachers having access to a device and internet.

“The District’s Digital Advisory Committee is exploring options to secure funding for the plan, which could range from $24 million to $91 million,” the district said in a news release.

They are also not sure if they want to completely return to in-person classes.

At this time, the district is floating the idea of extending the school day and possibly the school year.

Students were supposed to head back to class on August 10 but SCS leaders say they’ll find out when school can resume as early as July.

See the district’s SAFE program here

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