Community volunteers to examine effects of pandemic on students

By , Daily Memphian Updated: August 20, 2020 8:48 PM CT | Published: August 20, 2020 4:34 PM CT
<strong>Meghan Seay, Collierville Schools&rsquo; coordinated school health supervisor, leads a data evaluation team meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Collierville Schools created the team with community stakeholders to help address issues the district is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.</strong> (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian)

Meghan Seay, Collierville Schools’ coordinated school health supervisor, leads a data evaluation team meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Collierville Schools created the team with community stakeholders to help address issues the district is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian)

More than 20 stakeholders with backgrounds in statistics, epidemiology and public health have begun examining how the pandemic affects Collierville Schools students.

The diverse group of volunteers, which held its first meeting Wednesday, will use collected data to make recommendations to school district leaders on providing education during the unprecedented COVID-19 situation.


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“We would like to interpret data collected so it’s easily digestible for our Collierville Schools decision-makers, like our School Board and our superintendent,” said Meghan Seay, the district’s coordinated school health supervisor spearheading the team. 

The district already collects a significant amount of information and annually submits it to the state Department of Health. The information is then used for studies.

“This is great for Tennessee, but what we don’t have is Collierville,” Seay said. “We don’t have a snapshot of what Collierville looks like. What I’m hoping this group is going to provide for us is a better understanding of what our kids are doing health-wise in our school system so we can help them better access education.”

Schools are mandated by the state to collect certain data such as chronic illnesses, disabilities and allergies. The data evaluation team also will collect information about student symptoms by school, grade level and class.

All data viewed by the team will be somewhat redacted to protect student privacy.

They will also keep track of which students are sent home with flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms and those who then test positive for the novel coronavirus.

The district will rely on families to self-report. If a family lets the school know of a positive test, it helps the district determine if other students were exposed. The team will also track how many students are out due to quarantine so they are not penalized for pandemic-related absences.


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Teachers fill out electronic forms before sending children to the nurse and help distinguish if they are sick or simply need a Band-Aid after suffering a minor scrape. It helps separate sick kids from well kids and provides accurate information for the evaluation team.

<strong>Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner (left) attended the first meeting of a data evaluation team on Wednesday, Aug. 19.</strong> (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian)

Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner (left) attended the first meeting of a data evaluation team on Wednesday, Aug. 19. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian)

Mayor Stan Joyner and Board of Education member Frank Warren were present for the first meeting.

Warren was thankful for the array of experience willing volunteer their time.

“We have an impressive collection of people willing to step forward and help us,” said Warren. “I think Collierville has one of the best – if not the best – school systems in the region due to the support we have in the community, and that was evident (Wednesday) night.”

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Topics

Collierville Collierville Schools Frank Warren coronavirus
Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


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