Updated on Wednesday, April 21.
A bill in the South Carolina General Assembly passed on Wednesday, April 21, ordering school districts to offer five-day-a-week, in-person instruction for all students by Monday, April 26. The requirement will be regardless of the incidence rate of COVID-19 in the districts. The bill also orders school districts to offer five-day, in-person classroom instruction to students during the 2021-22 academic year.
High school students who attend in-person instruction currently attend classes Monday through Thursday and participate in e-learning on Fridays.
Greenville County Schools has started to make the required adjustments to meet the requirement, the school district’s director of media relations, Tim Waller, said in a statement.
Those changes include:
- Removing plexiglass protections from desks.
- Placing desks in rows with three feet between them.
“This means that students will not be able to follow the social distancing guidance recommended for our current community incidence rate, but will be seated 3 feet apart without plexiglass,” Waller said.
The school district emphasized that the changes affect only those in brick-and-mortar schooling or students who had to be put in the virtual program due to space.
“High school families currently in our brick and mortar (traditional) attendance plan will have the option to attend school five days or to remain on the 75% attendance schedule, beginning Monday, April 26. Students who remain on the 75% plan should continue to participate in e-learning on their at-home days,” said Waller.
Elementary and middle school students have been back in the classroom five days a week for months now.
“High school students who opted for in-person instruction moved to a 75% attendance plan on Jan. 4. As we have said from the start, our number one goal is to return students to the classroom full-time as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Waller.