South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman announced on Thursday, July 30, the approval of Greenville County Schools’ reopening plan. The district was one of 25 that received the go-ahead from the state.
“School district leaders, working alongside their local communities, continue to put forward high-quality options for parents that take into account the academic and social needs of students along with the safety precautions and protocols required in the current pandemic environment,” said Spearman in a release. “On the state level, we are committed to ensuring that the safety needs of every school [are] being met in preparation for reopening.”
“Every citizen can help in this effort by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing their hands regularly and staying at home when sick,” she said.
To have been approved by the state’s department of education, schools had to offer both a virtual and in-person option, a time frame to review operational plans to move toward full five-day in-person instruction and a plan for how a variety of student services would be provided.
Greenville County Schools had submitted a reopening plan based on the severity of the coronavirus in communities. The plan offered both virtual and in-person options.
On Tuesday, July 28, the district announced that 23,000 students had signed up for the virtual option — about a third of the student population, according to school district’s director of media relations Tim Waller.
“We appreciate the confidence Superintendent Spearman expressed in our reopening plan when she was in Greenville last week and by her official approval today,” said Greenville County Schools Superintendent Burke Royster in a statement. “The plan follows all the latest guidance from SCDHEC and the Centers for Disease Control. As we implement our plan, we will continue to regularly consult with not only those agencies, but with health and medical professionals from Prisma and Bon Secours.”
“Parents, students and teachers can rest assured that safety remains our top priority,” he said.
Royster will let families know on August 10 — two weeks ahead of the district’s August 24 start date — about the in-school attendance plan their school will follow on that first day, Waller said in an email.