GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) -- Class is back in session for students in Greenwood County as districts begin their first year with a modified, or year-round, schedule. 

At Rice Elementary School, teachers spent the last few days of summer doing their homework. First grade teacher Heather Calliham said it's a crucial year. 

"I really want to focus on bridging those gaps for what they lost last year and just bringing student engagement back up," she said. "Making sure that engagement is instilled in my classroom so the kids are back to enjoying learning again."

Greenwood 50 spokesperson Johnathan Graves said the they want to make the year as normal as possible, even with the big change.

Students will have nine weeks of regular classes followed by two weeks off.

"When you give your teachers and students a break, hopefully they'll come back stronger those second nine weeks," Graves said.

Those breaks also come with built in remediation days, when students who are falling behind can come in for extra help.

Calliham said that's going to make a huge difference, especially after a year of pandemic learning.

“We are coming with some kids that were virtual, some that were AB and some that were in a class size of maybe 10 kids," she said.

The first remediation days are at the end of September, but Calliham said the work starts now. 

"We have 180 days with these students and we have to make day one count. It's got to start with day one," she said.

COVID-19 precautions

Although Graves said back-to-normal is the goal, COVID-19 precautions are still in place. 

We got this list of new COVID-19 policies: 

  • Face Coverings are optional but strongly recommended in school facilities and buses for students, staff, and visitors
  • If needed, face coverings and PPE’s can be provided by the school or district
  • Hand washing/sanitizing is still recommended upon entry to the school building, classrooms, cafeteria, etc.
  • Daily Health Survey should still be completed prior to students and staff coming to school every day
  • Schools have developed safety plans in regards to procedures for school lunches, assemblies, volunteer programs, etc.
  • Visitors will be allowed in the school but no more than seating capacity for the lobby or reception area
    • Keep a roster of visitors for afterschool program
    • Visitors for afterschool programs must provide a safety plan
    • Visitors asked to go through the health survey
  • Distancing for school meeting/conferences and virtual meetings will still be utilized
  • Maintaining seating charts and rosters within each classroom for contact tracing
  • COVID-19 Communication/Notification Protocols will remain the same

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