GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – School districts in Greenville, Spartanburg, Oconee, and Pickens counties said they hope to have final decisions on how attendance, virtual learning, and alternate learning models will work by the end of July.
The AccelerateED task force unveiled its guidelines on Monday for schools across the state to begin reopening in the fall.
“To this end, we have provided considerations for full in-person learning, hybrid models, and full remote learning,” said State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman.
Aly Myles with Spartanburg County School District Three said they are working on plans for both online and in-person instruction.
“"It's right there in the middle,” Myles said of the feedback from parents..”So many people are saying 'go back to normal' and so many parents are saying 'no way we need more time to wait this out' so I wouldn't say we're edging one way or the other."
Teri Brinkman of Greenville County Schools said they are concerned about a rise in COVID-19 cases.
"We're in a place right now in Greenville where it's a little tougher to make some of those decisions because our numbers are going up so quickly."
Brinkman added that Greenville County is devising its own online learning tools in case schools will require hybrid or completely virtual option. She said class sizes are of particular concern in the county.
"They talk about going back to school and having in person school with social distancing, but we have proven by laying out our classrooms that you cannot do both if you're planning to bring back 100% of your students,” Brinkman said.
Oconee County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Thorsland released this statement on the district's response to the AccelerateED guidelines:
“We are processing the recommendations provided to districts in the AccelerateED report. We are in the midst of forming a committee of parents, teachers and administrators to actively participate in continued planning for the 2020-2021 school year. We will certainly comply with the recommendation of providing families, staff, and our community with a schedule and operation plan at least 20 days before the opening of school. At this time, we anticipate opening school, whether in person or virtual, on August 10, 2020. As we’ve seen in the past months, any plans or recommendations may have to change with the status of the virus in our community. Our staff is working diligently to address all aspects of school re-opening including safety protocols, cleaning protocols, social distancing in the classroom, as well as all that goes into planning for rigorous instruction across all grade levels. We strongly encourage all SDOC families to visit our website and complete both the Distance Learning and School Re-opening surveys. This data will aid us in addressing the needs of our students, families and community. This continues to be a trying and uncertain time for our community, state and nation. We would ask our staff, parents, students and community to approach the opening of schools with flexibility, grace and patience.”
School districts in the state have been asked to prepare and present their plans to families at least 20 days from the start of classes.