UPDATE (8/7/20): This week, we’re making history. It’s a week that's been more than a year in the making. Well before
the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Shelby County Schools had a BOLD vision to address academic equity and bridge the digital divide for students in Memphis. This week, that
vision became a REALITY, as thousands of brand new devices were distributed to families across the city. When device deployment is all said and done, more than 95,000
new devices will be in the hands of our students. Though conditions around us may remain uncertain, I can say this with great certainty -- we are taking the right steps
to successfully and safely begin our school year on August 31. Students may not walk through the front doors of our schools on day one, but we will open INNOVATIVE new
doors to learning possibilities as teachers and students come together online for the start of virtual learning. It's a new day for education and opportunity in this
school district, and we are proud to continue leading through this unprecedented moment with one goal in mind -- supporting our students, families and staff. In addition
to device updates, we have news this week about fall athletics, a virtual family forum on special education and English language services, summer meal service and more.
Get it all in Superintendent Ray's weekly update video.
UPDATE (7/24/20): As the selection period for fall learning options comes to a close today, SCS remains committed
to being flexible for the safety of our students and educators. We will continue to make decisions based on SCIENCE and not be influenced by politics as we
work to return stronger. As we look ahead to next week, we're excited to announce plans for distributing digital devices to students. Device distribution will
start August 3 for select middle and high schools and continue throughout the month for the rest of schools. We also have more parent technology trainings
coming up next week and in early August to help families prepare for virtual learning, and we're extending our bulk meal distribution at 11 SCS school sites
through mid-August as we combat hunger in Shelby County. Learn more in
Superintendent Ray's latest weekly update video, and thank you all
for joining us as CHANGE CHAMPIONS. We are 901!
UPDATE (7/17/20): This week, more than 20,000 people tuned into our Virtual Community Conversation about
the S.A.F.E. Plan. We're encouraged everyday by the incredible engagement and support of our community as we work hard to return stronger. We also appreciate
the feedback and questions coming in, and we're addressing as many as we can every week. We've extended the period for fall learning options to July 24, and we
have many new parent and student FAQs on our S.A.F.E. Plan website this week to assist with those decisions. New employee FAQs will be coming next week. We're
looking forward to sharing details very soon about the distribution of digital devices for all of our students. Plus, our student athletes will be returning
to action next week as limited team conditioning resumes at many middle and high schools across the District. Saving the absolute best for last, there is
no better way to close the week than with our
Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation, which takes place
tomorrow at 5 p.m. I hope you'll tune in live for what will be an unforgettable evening. All this and more in our latest
weekly update video.
UPDATE (7/10/20): Nearly 20,000 families have selected learning options for the fall semester this week,
and we're assisting many more every day who continue to express thanks for having choices this upcoming school year. We're doing our best to answer
as many questions as we can for families and employees and updating our S.A.F.E. Plan website regularly so everyone has access to the latest information.
With that in mind, we're preparing for a Virtual Community Conversation on Monday, July 13, to discuss the S.A.F.E. plan in greater detail and address
more questions from our community. Rounding out the week of big news, we announced plans for the Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation, which will be held
on Saturday, July 18.
Hear more in Superintendent Ray's latest weekly update video.
UPDATE (7/3/20): This week, we were able to give our Board and the public an in-depth view of the hard work
that has been happening since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly four months ago. We were able to share many of the updates and recommendations
coming from our S.A.F.E. planning committees and Re-Entry Task Force that will help ensure health, safety and continuous instruction when we reopen schools
this fall. The full comprehensive S.A.F.E. plan is coming next week. We're most excited to let families know that we'll be providing options for the 2020-21
fall semester - a direct response to the overwhelming feedback we've heard in recent weeks. Parents will have an opportunity to begin choosing a learning
option for their students Monday at 10 a.m., either fully in-school or fully virtual. We're also asking families and educators for more input on two
potential 2020-21 calendar options, which allow for a later start to the year following the governor's extended state of emergency. All that, plus more
parent technology trainings, thousands of elementary students getting ready to kick off our Virtual Summer Learning Academy and a major national award
for the best School Board in the nation, in
Superintendent Ray's latest weekly update video.
UPDATE (6/26/20): It's been an incredible week as we were able to connect with thousands of families
and community members and provide important information about how we're progressing in our plans to reopen schools this fall. More than 50,000 people tuned
into our listening sessions, and over 15,000 parents representing 25,000+ students have taken the re-entry survey. We'll be factoring all input into our
final plans and look forward to presenting recommendations to our Board and the Department of Education very soon. Our Central Nutrition Center is back
in business, and we're excited to begin expanding summer meal service for students beginning July 1. Plus, big partnership news with Amazon, an inspiring
discussion on social justice by some impressive SCS student leaders and several SCS high schools recognized among the best in Tennessee by U.S. News! All
this and more in
Dr. Ray's latest weekly update video.
UPDATE (6/19/20): We are so thankful for the strong response to support our re-entry plans over the past week,
as nearly 12,000 parents completed the School Re-Entry Survey. As we prepare to broadcast multiple re-entry listening sessions in the week ahead, we'll be
looking to hear from even more families about what it will take to return stronger in the fall. The Re-Entry Task Force completed its fourth meeting this week, focusing on the return of SCS employees in July and supports for students with disabilities and English Learners. SCS made national headlines this week with the historic Board vote to approve the purchase of 95,000 digital devices to equip our students for successful 21st century learning opportunities beginning this fall. We've worked hard to answer parent questions about the device plan throughout the week, and they're now available at
www.scsk12.org/accessforall. All that, plus a special student-driven discussion about social justice issues
and our Summer Virtual Parent Institute in
Dr. Ray's latest weekly update video.
UPDATE (6/12/20): The Re-Entry Task Force
held its third meeting this week to address more important decisions for the reopening of schools. The group is preparing for a work session next week to begin
drafting official re-entry recommendations for the District. Parent input is certainly vital to the re-entry process because our plans must address needs
of the students and families we serve. Therefore, we launched a new school re-entry survey to collect
the opinions of parents, and we'll be hosting a series of community listening sessions later this month. Our Athletics Task Force has been hard at work
preparing for a safe return to play, beginning with our high schools. The group has established
guiding principles in preparation for activities to resume this summer. All that,
plus new parent training opportunities to support online learning at home, applications
for the Virtual Summer Learning Academies, registration for the new school year and much more in
Dr. Ray's latest weekly update video.
UPDATE (6/5/20): The first week of summer break is behind us, but a safe return to school in the fall
remains our top priority moving forward. The District's Re-Entry Task Force held its second meeting to discuss key issues, like recovering lost instruction and the impact of social distancing on transportation and other school operations. We're preparing for a round of community listening sessions to collect more input from families, staff and community stakeholders on the reopening of schools. We also want the public to help us come back stronger and more effective by taking part in our 2020 District Confidence Survey. All this, plus graduation salutes, an expanded summer meal program and our 2020 Teachers and Principals
of the Year, in Dr. Ray's latest weekly update video.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.