UPDATE (5/22/20): The regular school year has come to a close, and we're so thankful for the commitment of our families and staff over these past couple of months. It hasn't been easy, but your support has been vital. To show our appreciation, we're holding a big virtual end of the year bash with some awesome entertainment and prizes. Plus, there were some major updates this week as we launched our Class of 2020 celebration website and announced upcoming community listening sessions to support the S.A.F.E. planning process for school re-entry in 2020-21. All this and more in Superintendent's latest weekly update.


UPDATE (5/18/20): Today,Superintendent announced the District's contingency planning process for developing a strategy to safely re-enter schools and offices for the 2020-21 school year. The development of best practices for every aspect of instruction and operation despite the rapidly developing nature of this pandemic is a historic undertaking. The District's S.A.F.E. (Strategic Action for Flexible Education) Planning Teamhas been meeting daily since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis to assess short-term and long-term plans for academics and operational support functions. This afternoon, and Superintendent Ray introduced members of the Re-Entry Task Force, who will help advise and support the District in specific areas that will be critical to the reopening of schools. Learn more about the S.A.F.E. planning process here.


UPDATE (5/15/20): As our Re-Entry Task Force continues to explore all options to safely resume student activities and reopen schools, some important processes are underway. Final grades are being calculated, and families will be receiving information about our summer online program for course and credit recovery next week. Plus, we have some answers to questions about athletics, exciting news about the launch of our new Class of 2020 website next week and a special invite to all SCS families for an end-of-year virtual party. All this and more in Superintendent Ray's latest weekly update video.


UPDATE (5/8/20): This week, we're happy to provide solutions to some long-awaited questions from students and families. Processes for receiving student refunds and picking up personal belongings at school begin next week. Plus, we have important updates on final grades and big news about a Re-Entry Task Force that will be exploring long-term strategies for reopening schools in the fall. All this, plus a whole lot of love for our awesome educators during Teacher Appreciation Week and much more, in Superintendent Ray's latest weekly update video.


UPDATE (5/1/20): It's been a week filled with major announcements and significant accomplishments. SCS rolled out plans to celebrate the Class of 2020 graduates beginning in May and culminating with traditional graduation ceremonies in July. Thousands of people tuned in for a special virtual event honoring our Valedictorians and Salutatorians. We also have long-awaited news on student fees and refunds, as well as final grades and summer intervention. Superintendent Ray's latest weekly update video has all this and more.


UPDATE (4/24/20): Learning continues across SCS, as families continue to take advantage of our expanding list of instructional resources online. Next week, due to high demand, we are making additional printed copies of the most recent comprehensive learning guides available for pickup. Report cards for quarter three will also be posted online Monday and available by email and pickup throughout the week. Plus, we will be honoring our 2020 valedictorians and salutatorians and preparing to share some important updates for our seniors who have patiently been awaiting news on graduation plans. Learn about all this and much more in the latest video update from Superintendent Ray.


UPDATE (4/17/20): School buildings may be closed, but the resilience of the 901 community keeps us motivated and working hard to serve our students and families. This week, we've ramped up support with an amazing new virtual learning platform from Discovery Education and multi-week learning guides for all grades. We've also launched of two new hotlines to promote self-care and offer help to students and families who may be experiencing a range of social emotional issues. SCS continues to be proactive and innovative as school districts across the nation try to address the unique communication challenges. Our newly launched Voice of SCS+ platform is making more quality content accessible in more ways than ever. Plus, important announcements are coming next week regarding quarter 3 grades, including opportunities for students to improve their grades. Watch Superintendent Ray's weekly update for all the latest information.


School Closed All Year

UPDATE (4/15/20): This afternoon, Governor Bill Lee announced that all Tennessee schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. Superintendent Ray shares the governor's concerns and caution to guard the health of students, teachers, and families during this pandemic. That said, there is still over a month left in the school year, and our focus remains on providing learning opportunities that meet the academic and social emotional needs of our students. Today, we released our “Roadmap to Continuous Learning", which outlines all the ways we have been working to deliver instruction. We encourage all families to keep students engaged using the new roadmap, as well as our learning guides and video lessons, new Discovery Education virtual learning platform and many other digital resources on our instructional resources website. We will offer more guidance and expectations to employees about working remotely, and we will be working diligently to finalize our long-term plans for the year so we can update students and families soon. Please continue to visit our website and social media pages often for updates, and contact our Parent Welcome Center Monday through Friday for questions and support by calling 416-5300.


Discovery Education

UPDATE (4/13/20): Today, we announced a major partnership with Discovery Education to make an amazing new virtual learning platform available to our students and teachers for free. Discovery Education Experience is packed with over 190,000 activities and resources for K-12 students, all based on core curriculum concepts and popular topics in Math, Science, Social Studies, English/Language Arts and Health. The site features everything students need to enhance at-home virtual learning, including fun videos, interactive activities and ready-to-use lessons. Students can access Discovery Education Experience through their clever account, which they use in school every day. We have instructions for logging in and more information about Discovery Education on our instructional website at www.scsk12.org/discovery.


UPDATE (4/10/20): We've been amazed and so grateful for all of the students and families who are staying committed to learning at home. Over the past few weeks, more than 460,000 people have visited our instructional resource pages and over 30,000 families have received printed learning guides. This week, we are combining several weeks of lessons and activities into a single comprehensive learning guide. This will benefit our essential staff and families by eliminating the need to leave home every week and risk exposure. Additionally, we've a got a major announcement coming Monday regarding a new partnership with Discovery Education to make their amazing virtual learning platform available for all SCS students and teachers. Watch Superintendent Ray's weekly update for all the latest information. You can also view a roundup of this week's updates here.


UPDATE (4/4/20): March has been a long and difficult month, but we are proud to see progress being made every day despite the circumstances. In the latest COVID-19 Update, Dr. Ray discusses the process for finalizing Quarter 3 student grades and how we're expecting direction soon from the Tennessee Department of Education regarding long-term plans for the school year. Additionally, we've added a new social emotional learning resource page to our website with helpful videos, podcasts, self-care tips and information on how to get assistance for stress and mental health. We've also compiled a growing list of community resources for families, which includes internet access, meal services, employment opportunities, financial assistance and more.


UPDATE (3/27/20): These past couple of weeks have presented challenges we've never seen at Shelby County Schools or anywhere in our city. Through it all, we continue to see inspiring examples of resilience, empathy and understanding by our students, families and staff. We may not know how long this will last, and we may not know what will happen next. But, what we do know - no matter what - is that SCS is 901, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to keep supporting our community.


School and district closure until further notice

UPDATE (3/24/20): Following the Governor Bill Lee's request today for all Tennessee school districts to close through April 24, Superintendent Ray has announced that all SCS schools and district offices will remain closed until further notice. We understand this request is aimed to protect our community. Thankfully, we have plans in place to continue providing meals to students daily in partnership with the YMCA, and we are already expanding our instructional resources that are available for students while schools are closed. We will be providing further updates later this week and ongoing regarding services that will be available during the extended closure. We will of course continue to consult with our Board, as well as local health officials and local and state leaders, as we make decisions. Be assured, the health and safety of our students, staff and families will always be our top priority.


UPDATE (3/23/20): Today, Mayor Jim Strickland announced a "safer at home" order, which takes effect Tuesday, March 24, and addresses non-essential commuting and engagement. This does NOT affect the current student meal distribution plan. The Mayor has said publicly that ensuring students are fed during the current school closure is considered essential, and therefore we are happy to report that the YMCA will continue providing meals for students at all designated sites Monday-Friday while schools are closed.


UPDATE (3/22/20): Thanks to a tremendous outpouring of support from local and state elected officials, as well as community organizations and businesses, thousands of students will be able to receive FREE meals every day while schools are closed. Beginning Monday, March 23, the YMCA will be taking over meal distribution at all sites previously designated for SCS meals. The YMCA is providing all of the food and coordinating distribution with its own staff members. The YMCA is a valued partner, and the District is extremely appreciative for this support in such a time of urgent need. As originally planned, meals will be available M-F while schools are closed (through April 3), 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., for all children 18 and under. The child must be present to receive a meal. Additionally, the Mid-South Food Bank is making meals available for students at all of its mobile food pantries in the Memphis area, and several businesses are providing FREE or discounted student meals. View all meal pickup sites and details here.


UPDATE (3/20/20): Today, the Shelby County Health Department confirmed that an employee in the SCS Nutrition Services Department tested positive for COVID-19. As a result of this news, we have no choice but to suspend all planned meal distribution for students indefinitely. Our intent has always been to ensure students continue to receive the meals they depend on in our schools during this closure, so this is extremely unfortunate. However, there are simply too many unknown factors about the spread of this virus to take any chances of putting more people at risk. We will continue working with the Health Department to assess the situation, but in the meantime we will be calling on City and County government and other community food distributors to help provide urgent support and food resources for our children during this school closure period. . Learning guides will still be available for pickup every Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., at all of the distribution sites while schools are closed.


UPDATE (3/18/20): Today, SCS launched a new website with a variety of instructional resources for students and families to access while schools are closed. In addition to online learning platforms that students use regularly in schools, the District will be posting weekly learning guides with grade-specific lessons and activities for English/Language Arts (ELA) and Math. New guides will be posted every week and align to the same standards and assignments that would be taking place in classes at this point in the school year. We understand all families may not have access to a computer or Internet service, so we will be making printed copies of the learning guides available every Monday and Tuesday, beginning March 23-24, at all of our meal distribution sites from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.


UPDATE (3/17/20): Today, the District tripled the number of meal distribution sites that will be available for students while schools are closed. Beginning Monday, March 23, students under the age of 18 can receive a free meal M-F, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., at these 60+ sites across Shelby County. The child must be present to receive a meal. Staff will be taking all proper precautions to ensure safe food handling and minimize risk for all students and families who may pick up meals. View a complete list of locations here.


UPDATE (3/16/20): This evening, Superintendent Ray announced an extension of the current school and District closure until at least Monday, April 6. This comes after Governor Lee and Tennessee Department of Education shared guidance concerning school closures and a suggested closure extension until March 31. However, rather than have staff and students return mid-week, we are planning at this time for a return date of no earlier than Monday, April 6.Additionally, we are mindful of the new CDC recommendations to consider school closures for up to eight weeks. That said, our District leaders are acting cautiously and responsibly to mitigate all risks during the current health crisis, and will continue to evaluate all matters as we approach the planned April 6 return date.


UPDATE (3/15/20): Today, Superintendent Ray announced that all District administrative offices will be closed Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27th – the same period that all schools will be closed. Our top priority is to protect our staff and students, and this decision was made based on the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and the Shelby County Health Department to limit in-person contact during the COVID-19 outbreak. While some in-person work, such as cleaning, maintenance and security is still necessary, our aim is to decrease the likelihood of disease transmission with this strategy. The District is implementing remote work procedures; however, our Parent Welcome Center can still be reached by phone during regular business hours at (901) 416-5300. The Office of Student Records will also continue to process online requests for records, such as transcripts and diplomas. The Student Records office can be reached at (901) 416-5830. All other in-person and phone support will not be available during the closure. Be assured, we are committed to keeping families, staff and the public informed, and we will continue to provide timely updates whenever there are new developments. Be sure to visit our website often and follow SCS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.


UPDATE (3/13/20): Shelby County Schools is committed to addressing food insecurity and ensuring that all students continue to receive meals while the District is closed. The District has developed a food distribution strategy that minimizes risk for students and families who may pick up meals. Meals will be provided at 20 sites across the county March 23-27 between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day. Meals will be served to children under the age of 18, and the child must be present to receive a meal. A number of community-based organizations are also making meals available while schools are closed. View a full list of SCS and community-based meal distribution sites here.


UPDATE (3/12/20): In a proactive step to ensure the safety of our students and staff, Superintendent Ray announced that all schools are closed March 13-27. Schools are scheduled to reopen on Monday, March 30. There have not been any risks to schools identified by the Health Department. However, due to national developments and rapidly changing conditions regarding the spread of COVID-19, Superintendent Ray, our School Board and District leadership believe this is the most responsible course of action at this time. During these two weeks, the District will be able to perform deep cleaning in all buildings, fully assess potential risks associated with individuals who may be traveling over the break and plan for a variety of contingencies that will better prepare us to support schools if conditions become more complicated in the future. Get more details in this letter sent to all families.


UPDATE (3/8/20): Earlier today, the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Shelby County. While we all hoped this moment would not come, the District has been proactively preparing for this possibility, and we are implementing a precautionary response plan for all of our schools. It is important to listen to facts at this time and not respond to fear. The SCHD has advised that there is no immediate risk to the general public in Shelby County, and there is no expected risk to school-age children at this time. But now is the time to proactively prepare for the possibility of local community transmission of the virus. The health and safety of our students, their families and our staff members continues to be our highest priority. Please know there is no guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the SCHD or other health officials to close schools at this time. However, as we monitor the situation and continue to consult with our local health and safety officials, we are enhancing internal protocols and providing additional resources. Get complete details on the steps we are taking in this parent letter.

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