Virtual Learning Academy
A SAFE SOLUTION FOR FAMILIES
Established on August 31, 2020, the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) served as a safe solution for the children of Shelby County Government employees to attend virtual classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. When Shelby County Schools announced that all classes would be virtual for the Fall 2020 semester, it was clear that many parents would struggle to balance work while ensuring their children could continue attending school. The Shelby County Mayor’s Office and Shelby County Office of Education immediately set out to provide a solution for Shelby County Government employees and their families. Two socially distanced classrooms were created to provide a safe space for students to continue their education while their parents continued to work and provide for their families. Both VLA classrooms, located in Downtown Memphis and East Memphis respectively, were staffed with an educator and two assistants to ensure each student received the guidance they needed while completing their schoolwork.
The VLA was available to any Shelby County Government employee working normal business hours whose children were enrolled in Shelby County Schools in grades Kindergarten through Third for the Fall 2020 semester. The program was expanded to include Fourth and Fifth grade students a few weeks into the semester. In addition to their daily curriculum from Shelby County Schools, VLA students were also provided afterschool extracurricular learning opportunities under the direction of the Shelby County Office of Education. All services were provided at no cost to the parents. Ultimately, employees in every branch of Shelby County Government were able to experience the peace of mind that comes from knowing their children were in good hands. The VLA program concluded on February 26, 2021, as Shelby County Schools transitioned back to in-person learning for its students. The Harris administration is proud to have played a part in keeping students safely in school during one of our most challenging years.