Greenville County Schools received the first shipments of plexiglass shields on Wednesday, Oct. 14, that will be used in classrooms to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to allow more elementary school students to attend in-person instruction on the same day.
The shields cost more than $5 million and were paid for by the state’s Department of Education, according to a release from the school district.
Currently, the number of students in a classroom at a time is restricted due to adherence to maintaining 6 feet of social distance among students. The plexiglass will allow students to be closer — while still masked — which will allow more students to attend on the same day. Students are now on an attendance plan where they attend in person on select days of the week.
Elementary students will be allowed to return to five-day-a-week in-person instruction due to approval of the use of plexiglass in lieu of 6 feet of social distancing by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Several other student groups have already been approved to have four- or five-day a week in-person instruction phased back in.
Several tractor-trailers arrived with the shields at Greenville County Schools’ warehouse in Taylors. Each trailer held 800 units of the plexiglass — and a unit is one quad shield of two pieces of plexiglass 2 by 6 feet in size. Components for the structures are being made at warehouse and at the district’s Career Centers.