ENGLISH - Return Stronger Updated COVID-19 Protocols for 2021-22


SPANISH - Return Stronger Updated COVID-19 Protocols for 2021-22


ENGLISH - Return Stronger Updated COVID-19 Protocols for 2021-22


SPANISH - Return Stronger Updated COVID-19 Protocols for 2021-22


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Return Stronger: COVID-19 Protocols

Return Stronger

UPDATE (9/21/21): The Shelby County Schools COVID-19 reporting protocols were revised in September. Staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 no longer need to provide clearance from a medical provider or SCS Family Care center to return to school, as long as they isolate for 10 calendar days from the date of first symptoms, have improvement in symptoms, and are fever-free without medication for 24 hours prior to returning. For any questions, the Contact Tracing Team can be reached at 901-416-1730.

UPDATE (8/30/21): Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn released guidance, which reiterates that only an individual classroom or school building may shift to remote instruction temporarily due to COVID-19 exposure with a documented waiver. Based on the current TN State Board rules, entire school districts are NOT permitted to transition to full remote/virtual instruction. According to Commissioner Schwinn’s guidance, in the event of a school closure, school athletics and extracurricular activities will be cancelled during the school closure period. Click on the links for additional information: English / Español. SCS is continuing to explore ways to petition the TDOE and state legislators to allow additional virtual learning options under our Continuous Learning Plan.

UPDATE (8/24/21): The TN State Board has passed new rules and criteria for in-person learning including restrictions on closing schools and implementing remote learning. Shelby County Schools (SCS) must comply with the law as we continue to push legislators to allow local control. Click on the links for additional information: English / Español.

UPDATE (7/28/21): Shelby County Schools (SCS) updated information pertaining to temperature checks for the 2021-2022 school year.

  • Temperature checks are required for all visitors, including parents and vendors.
  • Daily temperature checks are no longer required for employees and students.

SCS will continue to monitor the CDC and Shelby County Health Department guidance for updates and recommendations. The district is committed to keeping all employees, students, families, and visitors safe.

UPDATE (7/20/21): As Shelby County Schools prioritizes health and safety with our full return to in-person instruction, the District is updating its safety protocols. After reviewing the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Superintendent Ray shared updated COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-22 school year (PowerPoint). The District is maintaining several health protocols while enhancing safety measures. Like school districts across the nation, SCS is following science and data to guide decisions about providing COVID-19 protection for students, teachers and staff. The District is mindful of the rising cases and the spread of the Delta variant. Therefore, masks should be worn indoors (schools) and on buses by all employees and students, regardless of vaccination status until further notice.

UPDATE (2/12/21): Today, Superintendent Ray announced the gradual return to in-person learning, which will begin Monday, March 1. The District has stood alone in Memphis and Shelby County against mounting pressure to reopen while COVID-19 cases spiked in our community. From the onset of this pandemic, we’ve diligently planned for a stronger return to our buildings, but we have had no control of this virus or the community conditions that would allow us to go back. SCS is now faced with potential state legislation that could impact school funding. However, declining COVID-19 cases and the availability of vaccines have been key factors in our plans to return safely. Although there is pressure to reopen school buildings, SCS will not compromise our commitment to safety or our core mission to provide a high-quality education for the children of Shelby County. Millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds have been used to purchase protective equipment, cleaning supplies, install safety signage and improve building ventilation systems, and our schools are ready to welcome students back safely.

  • Students in grades Pre-K - 5 will return March 1, and students in grades 6-12 will return March 8. Students with disabilities or in self-contained classrooms will return within their grade bands.
  • Virtual instruction will continue for all students whose families chose to remain virtual. Parents who would like to change their child's learning option to either in-person or virtual may contact their school. These changes would take effect for the remainder of the school year.
  • Schools will revert back to their regular bell times beginning March 1. Contact your child’s school to verify the standard start time, or go to to view all start times.
  • Buses will be running beginning March 1 for all students who are eligible to receive District transportation. Find more information about transportation services at Meals will be served daily in schools, and weekly pick up will still be available for students who learn virtually.
  • All schools will be hosting virtual family forums the week of February 22 to review procedures and protocols and address questions. Schools will share dates and times with families.

Day in the Life: In-Person Learning Day

Click here to view all of our re-entry simulation videos.

Haga clic aquí para español.


Sample Virtual Learning Day


In preparation for the reopening of schools for in-person learning, SCS has implemented extensive procedures to address positive cases of COVID-19. This process includes investigating schools and mitigating a plan of action to protect students and employees. SCS follows all appropriate protocols for reporting cases based on Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) guidance.


We've answered a variety of commonly asked questions regarding the proposed reopening of schools. Click here to view our FAQs. Haga clic aquí para español.


Shelby County Schools offers educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, creed, age, disability, national origin, or genetic information.