GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (FOX Carolina) Greenville County Schools announced they'll be starting the new school year on August 24, a one week delay from the original start date due to COVID-19.
However, the South Carolina Legislature requires school districts to offer a week of instruction days for students in response to the last academic year's forced school closures amid the pandemic.
So, GCS says they'll be setting aside the week of August 17-21 for LEAP, or Learn Evaluate, Analyze, and Prepare, optional days for those who've opted to participate in face-to-face learning.
During the half days, students will meet their teachers and the classmates who share their Attendance Plan color grouping, and practice social distancing.
They'll also be issued, trained and refreshed in the use of the Chromebooks provided by the district and Google Classroom. Tests required by the state will be taken during these half days to help determine students' academic strengths and weaknesses.
High school students will only pick up their Chromebooks between August 17-20 at their high school following Attendance Plan 1.
K-8 graders who plan to attend traditional, in-person school will have the option to attend the half days based on the GCS Roadmap Attendance Plan 1.
Elementary students' time slot is 7:45-10:15 a.m., while middle schoolers will attend from 8:30-10:45 a.m.
The following is how students will be broken up for their LEAP days throughout the week:
- "Blue" students whose last names begin with the letters A-D
- "Red" students whose last names begin with the letters E-K
- "Green" students whose last names begin with the letters L-Q
- "Purple" students whose last names begin with the letters R-Z
Students in grades K-8 who've signed up for the virtual program will attend Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday during the afternoon - 12-12:30 p.m for elementary and 12:30-3 p.m. for middle.
They'll also follow the color-coded grouping according to their last names.
Friday will be a make-up day for any student who is unable to attend on their assigned day.
Students can only participate in LEAP if they are enrolled in a Greenville County School.
Breakfast and lunch will be served each day for the students in the 4K-8 program. Transportation will be provided to those who completed their transportation forms by July 15 and requested a bus service.
Parents whose children were not in GCS last year, or need information for requesting bus services, should visit the GCS website or call (864) 355-3111.
Teachers will still report to school on August 10 for teacher work days used to prepare for the new year.
The district says teachers are encouraged to participate in the LEAP days, and will receive additional compensation for their time, but districts can’t require their presence. As a result, some students may not meet all their teachers.
Both students and teachers will be required to wear masks or face coverings and follow other precautions such as self-checking against symptoms, employee temperature screenings, handwashing/sanitizing, etc.