Newsletter 2020: COVID Edition

Community Resources for Students and Families

As we all continue to monitor and tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus in our community, Stand remains committed to keeping you informed with the latest news and up-to-date information about resources that are available during this public health emergency. Visit our online resource center to find local resources in Memphis and Shelby County that may be helpful to your family.

 We know students and families are facing many struggles during this time. We want you to know we’re listening. Take our COVID survey to tell us how your family is dealing with these challenging times.

While we’re continuing our work in advocacy and supporting educational equity across our community, this month’s update will focus on the current COVID-19 crisis and provide information we hope is both helpful and informative.

Safer at Home Executive Order

We’re sure you’re aware and hope you’re following closely the Safer at Home Orders that were issued by Governor Bill Lee, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. We are in this together and efforts for social distancing are important to protect each other and assist in “flattening the curve” to support our healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

 A simple point of advocacy in these times is ensuring that you, your family, and everyone you talk to understands these orders are in place and commits to prevention techniques:

1. Stay home as much as possible (only going out for essential needs)

2. Keep a safe distance (6 feet) from people when you’re out

3. Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when your out

4. Wash your hands often

5. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

6. Cover your mouth and nose for cough and sneezes 

7. Stay home and self-isolate if you feel unwell 

State Testing and Other Education Issues

Tennessee lawmakers voted to suspend TNReady testing and other mandates for Spring 2020. On April 9th, the TN State Board of Education will meet and consider priority concerns impacted by COVID-19 including issues related to graduation requirements for seniors, special education program and services, grades, attendance, and other rules changes needed.

After this meeting, we should expect SCS and other districts to make more detailed announcements about what will happen for students in the 2019-20 school year.

SCS Student Meal Distribution

The YMCA has partnered with Shelby County Schools to ensure the distribution of free student meals at 60 designated sites. Meals are available from 11 am – 1 pm, Monday through Friday for all children 18 and under and the child must be present to receive a meal.

Along with meals available at all Mid-South Food Bank mobile pantries, SCS will have a mobile pantry in the Board of Education parking lot (160 S. Hollywood) every Wednesday, 10am–2pm where families can receive a 14-day food supply pack.

Shelby County Schools on TV

Shelby County Schools has partnered with WMC5 to broadcast Pre-K-12 lessons to support continued education at home. You can catch daily lessons streamed live on C19TV, WMC-TV 5 affiliate stations, and Bounce-TV.

Help Students Stay on Track

With schools closed indefinitely, we want to help equip parents with tools and resources that will assist in continuing education at home. You should first check with the resources provided by your child’s school and the SCS site for instructional resources. In addition, check out our blog post on local and national COVID-19 resources, then explore our online resource center for other toolkits and activities your family can do at home.

Ensuring Digital Equity for All Children

It’s wonderful that so many community partners are stepping up to support students with remote-learning resources while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the reality is that many children in our community do not have the devices or internet access at home they need to take advantage of these resources. This “digital divide” only exacerbates and reinforces equity issues that already exist in education.

This is unacceptable, which is why we’re working every day to ensure that all students have access to 21st-century technology that will allow them to succeed at school and later in life. That’s why we’re proud to support our friends at SchoolSeed (in partnership with SCS) in raising funds to eliminate digital barriers to accessing online academic resources.The SCS COVID-19 Relief Fund will help provide needed WiFi access and purchase digital devices for low-income families in Memphis and Shelby County. We’re asking our supporters to take action by joining us in making a $25.00 donation towards bridging the digital divide.

Your contribution is an investment towards a stronger and more resilient community – now and for years to come.

Census 2020: Don’t Count Me Out! 

 t’s time to take the Census! This constitutionally mandated population survey happens every 10 years and forms the basis for distributing federal funds to local communities and determining legislative representation. Your participation in taking the Census counts more than ever and will help our city plan for the resources we need. Taking the Census also helps our children get the school funding and facilities they deserve! 

 Don’t miss this chance to stand up and be counted! Complete the Census form online at

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