SCS addresses health policies with school starting next week

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools officials discussed new health policies for the upcoming school year during an online meeting for parents Monday night.

Students and staff have to wear masks even if they’re vaccinated, social distancing is required when possible and desks will be separated by see-thru partitions. 

“We put those on the tables so the students essentially have their own private little space,” SCS Deputy Superintendent Dr. John Barker said.

Virtual school is still an option for grades 4 through 12.

“It’s not like what we did last year where there’s a live teacher teaching,” SCS employee Shawn Page said, “It is self-paced… The student would log in and complete certain modules in the computer based program.”

Teachers will monitor the lessons from time to time but there will be no live teacher and that means students will have to do a lot of learning on their own.

COVID-19 cases are rising in Shelby County with more than 700 new cases reported in the last two weeks, many of those in children 17 and younger. The surge prompted SCS officials to emphasize their cleaning practices.

“Buildings will be clean,” Dr. Barker said, “And we will be vigilant about doing that. We have taken steps to provide improved and cleaner indoor air.”

Dr. Manoj Jain is an infectious disease expert. He says nervous parents can breath a little easier for one key reason.

“The virus does not cause severe disease in children,” Dr. Jain said, “Rarely ever do children have to be hospitalized.”

Officials say students will get mask breaks throughout the day. 

School begins August 9th.

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