MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Shelby County Health Department said there were nearly 1,300 new cases of COVID on Wednesday, the highest number we’ve seen in the past year and a half of the pandemic.
Of those, 438 cases involve children and as the cases in children overtake other age groups in Shelby County, it looks like online learning for some students could be here to stay.
In fact, the Germantown Municipal School District announced on Wednesday that it was expanding online classes. The Germantown Online Learning Academy will offer virtual learning to students in Kindergarten to Grade 5.
“I understand that with the COVID numbers being what they are, parents are looking for options,” Principal Heather Fisher said. “Starting today, we will start registering K-5 students for our GOAL program. “
Until now, the Germantown Online Academy of Learning has offered classes for students in grades 6 to 12. But parents wanted more options for younger students.
The district responded and got approval from the state education commissioner to do so.
“Parents want more choice, especially considering that elementary school children do not have the opportunity to be immunized at the moment and this leads parents to want more options to make it easier to keep them safe, ”Fisher said.
Pediatric cases of COVID continue to overtake other age groups in the county, according to the Shelby County Department of Health. Dr Michelle Taylor, director of the health service, said the increase in the number of pediatric cases is troubling.
“They should be in their mask and so should you. we know that children can not only get this virus, but they can also pass it on, ”Taylor said.
At the offices of the Germantown Online Academy of Learning, enrollment nearly doubled from nearly 30 to 70 students, and they have increased the number of teachers and courses to help with online learning during a pandemic.
“A lot of students may have started this program in part because of COVID, but what they’re finding is that they really like the flexibility that online learning gives them,” Fisher said. “I think what started out as a necessity for some families may turn into an option down the road for families as we move past this pandemic. “
Fisher said GMSD parents interested in enrolling a child in the Germantown Online Learning Academy have a window open today until midnight September 14. If you are interested you should call 901-752-7911 or visit their website for more information.
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