Shelby County Schools Telework Agreement

The resumption of personal schooling next month will endanger the lives of students, teachers and their respective families. It was the message of a teacher-led protest outside the Shelby County Schools County Office on Tuesday afternoon, during which more than 100 teachers, school members and community members gathered to demand that all classes be virtual until the county could do without a new case of COVID-19 for two weeks. On Tuesday night, Ray said more details on the contract document will arrive „soon.” SCS says details of the deal will be made public soon. SCS said all administrators and substitutes would stay in schools, but if teachers agree to a telecommuting agreement, they can work remotely. The exact nature of teleworking and who these teachers will teach are still ongoing. Some of their concerns were all the more pointed out on Monday, when Superintendent Ray announced virtual learning for all schools until further notice. The Memphis Shelby County Education Association said they needed to see what was in the agreement. Superintendent Joris Ray said teachers and students will not be sent back to school if cases continue to rise in Shelby County. Teachers speaking on Tuesday asked him to keep that promise and asked the school authority – which met in virtual sessions – not to send them back to school until it was certain to do so. Rucker, who helped organize the protest, and other teachers spoke of their fear of seeing their students get sick and their concerns for their own health. They also talked about the difficulty of securing their classrooms, and several said that the bathrooms in their schools did not have soap, even in normal times.

Even as a month before the start of the school year approached, the borough said that nothing was ruled out. Ray described the plan as flexible and said that if schools reopen, they will be closed again when COVID-19 cases are identified in schools. The Shelby County Health Department was scheduled to meet with SCS and the city`s school districts on Wednesday to discuss reopening plans. Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter said Tuesday that the department wants school districts to use guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She said it`s also important for schools and school districts to have the flexibility to adapt their COVID-19 reintegration plans and guidelines during the school year. SCS Chief Academic Officer Dr. Antonio Burt said teachers learned Tuesday night that they could choose to work in schools or remotely. .

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