On Tuesday, July 21, Greenville County Schools announced its final back-to-school plan for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. Students and their families may choose between a virtual program and a traditional, in-person option. The plan is still awaiting approval by the South Carolina Department of Education.
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Posted by Greenville County Schools on Tuesday, July 21, 2020
“Our number one goal is shared by many parents and the South Carolina governor, and that is to return to five-day-a-week in-person instruction. We plan to do that just as soon as it’s safe to do so,” said Tim Waller, director of media relations for the school district, in a release. “Any decisions we make will be based on objective information from scientific, public health and medical experts. While social and emotional well-being are important, our primary consideration must be physical safety.”
For the virtual option
Those in the virtual program will be provided instruction from certified GCS teachers using a Chromebook supplied by the district. Students will continue to access local-school supports and activities. All testing will be proctored remotely, and the instruction will be structured, according to the release.
For the in-person option
For students who opt for the traditional, in-person choice, instruction will be based on the COVID-19 spread rate. If the rate is determined to be low, then students will attend classes in-person. During medium spread times, students will receive a hybrid of in-person instruction and eLearning. If the school district determines there is a high spread rate, then instruction will be entirely through eLearning or at least with minimal in-person instruction.
Families that receive free and reduced lunch can pick up those meals at select locations when their students have to do 100% eLearning.
Throughout the upcoming school year, different schools may be adhering to different plans depending on the spread rate in the school’s local area.
The students choosing the in-person option will follow the Attendance Plan Roadmap:
- Plan 5 sees five-days-a-week, in-person instruction.
- Plan 1 has only 1/4 students attending in person Monday through Thursday.
- Plan 2 would see 1/2 of students in person each day Monday through Thursday.
Under Plans 1 and 2, social distancing is possible. In Plan 5, it is not.
The attendance schedule for the first week of school has not been announced yet due to the district not knowing what the COVID-19 spread rate will be.
Precautions to be taken at schools
Greenville County Schools will follow strict COVID-19 prevention procedures that will include:
- Daily temperature checks and health screenings for employees and school visitors who travel beyond the school’s office. Students who are symptomatic must also be screened.
- Students, teachers and staff must maintain social distancing (6 feet of physical distance in all directions) throughout the school day. Class changes will be staggered, and notices will be placed around the schools.
- Masks will be worn by staff and students (grades 2-12) when social-distancing (6 feet) cannot be maintained such as when students are entering the building, moving in the hallways, using the restroom or riding the bus.
- Students will eat in the cafeteria under attendance Plan 1. In Plan 2, students might eat in the cafeteria or classroom depending on the school’s layout. In Plan 5, students will eat in their classrooms. All students will be able to have breakfast for free.
- Custodians will have equipment to disinfect large areas quickly. High-touch areas will be regularly sanitized, and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the classrooms and buildings.
- Any exposure to COVID-19 may require the student or staff to be isolated away from the school. The district will follow DHEC guidelines related to quarantines.
- Students and staff should not come to school if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.