Greenville County high school students will be allowed to return to in-person instruction up to 75% of the time, Greenville County Schools announced Thursday, Dec. 17. The new attendance plan will come into effect Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. High school students currently attend at 40%.
Under the latest plan, students who now attend in-person instruction two days a week, will start attending in-person instruction four days a week. One week out of the month, students will only attend three days of classes. Self-contained special education classes will attend five days a week, and career center students will also see increased face-to-face instruction by going to class five days a week.
Elementary school students have been back in the classroom five days a week since November, and middle school students are in the process of returning to five days a week in-person classes.
“We’ve known from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that high schools pose the biggest challenge when it comes to returning students to the classroom. This plan allows us to nearly double the amount of in-person instruction at high schools and return most Career Center students to full-time in-person instruction, allowing them to work toward their industry certification,” said W. Burke Royster, superintendent of Greenville County Schools, in a statement.
When students who are in the brick-and-mortar school plan are not in class, they will attend eLearning.
Classrooms will have plexiglass structures separating desks if there is not enough space to observe 6 feet of social distancing. Larger spaces like media centers and auditoriums will be used for classes. Times between classes will also be extended and staggered as needed, according to the school district.
Due to increased COVID-19 cases in the community and the amount of GCS staff in quarantine, Royster warned that plans may change.
“The high number of employees in quarantine is making it increasingly difficult every day to ensure we can fully staff schools at the level they need to be to ensure not only instruction but to ensure the protocols are being followed to keep students healthy and employees healthy,” Royster said at a press conference.
He added that if the surge of COVID-19 cases continues, some schools would have had to close if not for the coming of the winter holiday.
The new plan works as follows:
Each color group (blue, red, green, purple) will have three in-person attendance days that never change:
- Blue — Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
- Red — Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
- Green — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
- Purple — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
On Friday, students will attend in-person classes three out of four Fridays each month based on their color group:
- Blue, Red, Green — Jan. 22, Feb. 19, March 26, April 30, May 28
(Purple = eLearning)
- Blue, Red, Purple — Jan. 29, Feb. 26, April 2, May 7, June 4
(Green = eLearning)
- Blue, Green, Purple — Feb. 5, March 5, April 16, May 14
(Red = eLearning)
- Red, Green, Purple — Feb. 12, March 12, April 23, May 21
(Blue = eLearning)