Violet Odom is torn between sending her daughters again to highschool when the educational yr begins or holding them dwelling to be taught on-line.
On one hand, she needs to attenuate how many individuals her youngsters are available in contact with, particularly as coronavirus circumstances surge in Memphis and throughout the nation. Virtual instruction appears to be the way in which to perform that.
But Odom additionally works from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at a chemical plant and her daughters, in third and eighth grade, would solely have one another to determine navigate on-line courses through the day.
“I’ve got so many mixed emotions,” she mentioned. “I for sure want them to be safe, but I don’t know how to feel.”
Shelby County Schools mother and father have every week and a day to resolve whether or not or to not ship their youngsters to highschool buildings. If they select on-line, they’ll be among the many first to obtain laptops, tablets, and Wi-Fi hotspots later this month. If households wish to change their minds, they should wait till the primary semester ends, although district officers mentioned they’ll contemplate “extenuating circumstances.” Still, mother and father say they want extra particulars to make an knowledgeable resolution.
So far, most mother and father say they wish to maintain their youngsters dwelling. Superintendent Joris Ray mentioned of the almost 11,000 responses the district has obtained since Monday, 76% of them have opted for online learning. The responses characterize about 11% of the district’s 95,000 college students.
“There’s a lot of confusion,” mentioned board member Michelle McKissack earlier this week at a committee assembly. She instructed district workers to offer a “breakdown of what the school day looks like, both virtually and in person.”
“There are so many questions that are out there for parents to make a decision,” she mentioned. “And looking over the plan, while it’s really great, it’s also kind of broad.”
Jerica Phillips, a spokeswoman, mentioned the district plans to launch simulation movies Monday that may assist mother and father visualize what a typical day might seem like on-line or in particular person.
“The importance of making commitments is being able to support class ratios and staffing,” Phillips mentioned. “We just don’t want that to be the message to say that you can flip flop back and forth.”
Odom noticed the outcomes of the district’s preliminary mother or father survey and was delighted to listen to most mother and father preferred on-line instruction. It means there can be fewer youngsters in buildings, which to her feels safer than having buildings at full capability.
“The size of class will be smaller and they’ll be better able to be 6 feet apart,” Odom mentioned.
Still, she needs to be taught extra earlier than making a choice.
“With the numbers still rising, I wouldn’t want to send them out there without knowing what it looks like,” she mentioned.