Since the Shelby County Schools started its fall semester completely online two weeks ago, most of the district's 95,000 public school students have logged into their virtual classrooms. But thousands still have not.
While about 5,000 students have yet to pick up their district-issued digital devices for virtual learning, about 2,000 of them have managed to attend class using an alternative, such as a cell phone or personal tablet.
The remaining 3,000 students, says SCS spokesperson Jerica Phillips, have neither picked up their devices nor logged on from other platforms. To complete its rosters, the district needs to find out why. Phillips says principals and teachers are quickly trying to locate these students. All were enrolled last year but are not in attendance so far. In some ways, she says, this is a typical problem.
“We know there’s a situation where many of them may have transferred. So student transfers happen every year...no different from the start of [any] school year,” she says. “A student may have gone to Grandma’s house and may now be going to Millington High School or Arlington Middle School.”
But it could also be pandemic related. Some might face barriers to picking up their devices, such as a lack of transportation, which Phillips says schools can help them troubleshoot.
While students are not required to use their district-issued devices to particiapte in class, SCS recommends everyone use the same platforms for ease of teaching and learning.