Greenville County Schools announced Monday, Nov. 16, that it will start returning middle school students who have opted for in-person instruction back in the classroom five days a week.
“After consulting with medical professionals from DHEC and Prisma Health and reviewing our internal metrics, we believe GCS students and staff are safer from COVID-19 while at school than they are outside of school. We also recognize that students perform better academically in a face-to-face setting,” said GCS director of media relations, Tim Waller.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control deemed it suitable for students to sit 3-feet apart while separated by plexiglass, according to the school district. GCS officials have analyzed spaces needed to remain within DHEC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some classes have been moved to larger areas like labs or cafeterias to allow for proper social distancing.
At a press conference on Monday, superintendent Burke Royster said the new attendance plan may be changed based on the severity of the pandemic in the area. “We’ve got to be very aware that there is a significant likelihood that spread rates are increasing in our county and in our state, and we may have to reverse course, with less than a week’s notice,” Royster cautioned.
Waller said the district plans to increase in-person instruction for high school students by the start of the next semester. Middle schoolers will follow the below schedule to return to in-person instruction, five days-a-week:
Week of Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving week): All color groups attend in-person on Monday and Tuesday — Nov. 23-24.
Weeks of Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14: All color groups attend in-person Monday through Thursday. eLearning for sixth graders on Friday.
Week of Nov 30: Attendance Plan 2 on Monday and Tuesday, Nov 30 and Dec. 1.
All color groups attend in-person Wednesday and Thursday, December 2-3 eLearning will be held each Friday
Weeks of Dec. 7 and Dec. 14: All color groups attend Monday through Thursday. eLearning will be on Fridays.
Week of Dec. 7: Attendance Plan 2 on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 7-8.
All color groups attend in-person Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 9-10.
eLearning will be held on Fridays.
Week of Dec. 14: All color groups attend Monday through Thursday.
eLearning held on Fridays.
Winter break: student holiday (Monday, Dec. 21 through Friday, Jan. 1)
Beginning Jan. 4, 2021
Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students attend in-person school 5 days-a-week until further notice.