COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina’s task force on education recently released a 202-page draft regarding guidance and recommendations to reopen schools in South Carolina for the 2020-21 academic year.
AccelerateED, which consists of educators and administrators who work with K-12 students in the state, has come together to find ways to reopen schools for students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the immediate actions that the task force requested were health and safety grants as well as the purchase of personal protective equipment. AccelerateED has also recommended that each district create a reopening task force or team of their own to develop plans and protocols to reopen schools in the fall.
In the draft, AccelerateED addressed the digital divide. The task force is asking that districts review and revise technology plans to determine how to expand the number of students with devices and broadband access.
The drafted plan ultimately includes four phases, which looks closely at summer planning and preparation, pre-opening schools, and reopening schools and the continuity of operations. Plus, the plan also shows three different scheduling models for the upcoming academic year created due to the uncertainty of what health conditions will look like in August 2020.
- Traditional Model: The traditional model would allow students, faculty, and staff to return to school in traditional fashion if there is low to no spread of COVID-19. However, districts would be allowed to make changes to scheduling and teaching practices to lower the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
- Hybrid Model: The hybrid scheduling model would only allow a portion of the staff and students to return to schools while the remaining staff members and students would utilize distance learning. According to the task force, this would be the most likely scenario if there is a medium spread of COVID-19.
- Full Distance Learning Model: The full distance learning model would likely be used if students, faculty, and staff would not be able to physically return to schools due to a high spread of COVID-19.
The draft also includes the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s recommendations for bus operations. According to their recommendations, buses should only hold 50% of its normal capacity of students allowing one student per seat. Buses would also be disinfected twice a day following morning and afternoon routes.
You can read the full AccelerateED draft below.
Public comments regarding this draft must be submitted via email. You may send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments must be sent in by June 18 at 10 a.m.