Horry County Schools reports ‘minimal or no contact’ with nearly 450 students

Horry County Schools reports ‘minimal or no contact’ with nearly 450 students
(Source: WMBF)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – New data from the South Carolina Department of Education shows that Horry County Schools has been unable to contact or has had minimal contact with nearly 450 students.

The Department of Education surveyed the principals at the state’s 1,272 schools in an effort to get a count of students that schools have been unable to reach or have not turned in any work during the coronavirus school closures.

The department found that schools have not been able to connect with approximately 10,431 students. In HCS, principals reported that they have not been able to contact or have had minimal contact with 448 students.

“During our spring closure due to COVID, our principals tracked students at each grade level who returned completed work. In addition to parent contacts, principals pulled failure lists periodically and contacted students (and their parents) who were failing courses and/or who were not completing the work. Each week the percentage of students failing courses decreased,” HCS spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said in an email to WMBF News.

Bourcier added that administrators at Horry County schools have taken a number of steps to make sure that students were successful during the eLearning process.

Some examples include:

  • Our teachers and administrators continued to reach out to connect with students who have not completed assignments.
  • Our teachers and administrators monitored failures closely and emailing and calling parents to follow up on how they can assist students. 
  • We provided technology support by appointment.
  • Students who did not have access to the internet submitted hard copies of assignments.
  • Our teachers provided online resources, and many recorded videos for students to review. 
  • Digital content and resources were available for students. Many of which have translation options and supports that read the text to students who need additional support. 
  • High school teachers utilized Google Classroom for all courses.  Parents could request a code to receive information regarding their children’s assignments. 
  • PowerSchool was available for parents to log in and access their students’ grades. 
  • Teachers worked with students and parents to collect and complete missing work. 
  • Teachers and administrators could be reached via their school email addresses.
  • Schools reached out to families who need additional support in terms of guidance services and opportunities for meals. 

The Department of Education explained that in many cases, students had moved or a personal circumstance such as family health, home internet connectivity or a language barrier contributed to students and their families not responding to schools.

Principals told the department that they attempted to reach out to students and their families in a variety of ways including calling, email, social media and in some cases home visits.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.