Greenville County Schools will announce in the coming weeks a plan to allow more high school students to return to in-person classes more days of the week, superintendent Burke Royster said at a GCS Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
Under two draft plans Royster discussed, high school students will be in class 75% of instructional time. Currently, Royster said, high school students attend 40%.
“We’ve got a couple of plans out there that we’re getting feedback on,” said Royster, adding that a decision would be announced by Jan. 14.
The first draft plan would have high school students in class three days out of the week and every other Friday. Students who need remediation would attend each Friday. The second plan would also have students attend in person three days, as well as three out of the four Fridays a month.
While Royster acknowledged the district could have up to 25 students in a classroom with the protective plexiglass barriers up, he said, “we’ve got much larger classes; we’ve got over 500 that have 26 or more in them.”
Due to those class sizes and other concerns, there isn’t a possibility to bring back all high schoolers for five-day-a-week instruction right now.
“Most all high schools greatly exceed the number on campus in any other location, so we are still hampered in maintaining the appropriate health protocols [and] having 100% in,” said Royster.
The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Greenville County has risen over the past couple of weeks. However, transmissions of the novel coronavirus in school are lower than in the outside community, according to the school district.
Both elementary and middle school students will be attending in person five-days-a-week by January if they are registered to attend brick-and-mortar instruction.