Better than Normal

Posted by Cyndi Skellie on 7/21/2020

Dear Shelby County Families and Friends, 

Welcome back to another exciting year with Shelby County Public Schools. As we wrap up summer and begin to plan for the re-opening of schools on August 26, 2020, I want you to know that SCPS is working diligently to prepare a school year that will provide a welcoming environment for your child while working to provide a safe and healthy environment to help them continue their learning. Teachers and staff are reviewing our experiences from March, April and May of 2020 and discussing how to improve instruction and eliminate barriers to learning for our students who choose to learn from home. Moreover, we are also pouring over guidelines from local, state and federal authorities to make sure that we provide a healthy environment for all students who choose to return to the physical school buildings. 

Many people have expressed a desire to get "Back to Normal" for the Fall of 2020. I propose that we will be "Better than Normal" this fall. The Shelby County Public Schools Re-Opening Task Force, a committee of parents, students, teachers, and administrators, has proposed two possible learning options for students this fall:  SCPS@Home and SCPS@School.  SCPS@Home allows for students to learn from home with an SCPS teacher at the helm. It is NOT NTI. Students without internet can also participate in this option. SCPS@School allows for students to return to their school buildings to learn with safety provisions in place.  

The first step for SCPS is to register students for one of these options. The task force sent a preliminary survey to families on Friday, July 10th, 2020 to gather data that will inform us as we move forward with safety planning and staffing for the fall.  Knowing how many students plan to return to the physical buildings and how many students plan to learn from home will assist with the planning.  After July 17th, 2020, principals will make phone calls to families to confirm their preliminary choices.  At that time, if you have questions or concerns, you can discuss them with your principals. We are asking for an 18 week commitment, but also know, that we are working to do what is best for students. Always feel free to communicate with school leadership throughout the school year regarding your concerns. Please read through the guidelines on this website. When you register, choose SCPS@Home or SCPS@School.   

The second step for SCPS is to fine tune the details for both programs. We know you have questions regarding lunch, safety, health, extracurricular activities and more. You can email your questions to We will compile an FAQ on this website as we have those answers for you. 

Shelby County Public Schools' main focus is to fulfill our mission for students: to prepare wise students who master standards, lead by example and embrace social responsibility. We will continue, in the middle of a pandemic, to maneuver through the guidelines set forth, but most importantly to meet the individual needs of our students. The information here is fluid and can change week to week as circumstances change and as new information becomes available to us. The personal touch we want to give to education is what will make school "better than normal" in the Fall of 2020. 

I want to thank students, staff, parents and our community for their support and understanding as we prepare for the Fall semester. We will take this one step at a time to have a successful school year. 

Dr. Sally Sugg

Superintendent, Shelby County Public Schools


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