HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Horry County School Board voted in favor of moving the school start date from Aug. 17 to Sept. 8.
Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson said he wanted school pushed back by three weeks so leaders can be more confident in their plans for student and faculty safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.
School board members discussed the issue during a meeting that lasted nearly four hours on Monday night. All school board members voted in favor of pushing back the school start date.
Richardson added that there will still be 180 school days on the calendar. The revised school calendar shows the last day of school will be June 16.
RELATED LINK | Revised Horry County Schools Calendar
A proposed reopening plan was also presented during the Horry County School Board meeting, which was put together by the Horry County School Reopening Task Force. The reopening plan focused on five areas: Public Health and Safety, School Operations & Logistics, Teaching & Learning, Equity & Family Needs and Social-Emotional Health.
The in-depth plan provides a number of guidelines including what happens if a person at a school contracts the coronavirus and how to keep students socially distant from one another. The presentation will now be submitted to the South Carolina Department of Educations for its review and final approval. Once all approvals are received, then parents will be provided additional information.
During the meeting, school leaders also looked over a survey that was sent out to parents on what they wanted the next school year to look like and provided three options for students.
Parents were able to choose from three options:
- Hybrid: Students will return to school with a combination of face-to-face and distance learning. While practicing enhanced safety and health precautions, students will attend in-school face-to-face sessions on alternating days and on other days students will engage in distance learning from home.
- Full-Time Distance Learning: Students will not return to the physical school. In most cases, teachers from the student’s assigned school will provide instruction through consistent communication tools (i.e., Google Meet, Remind 101, Google Voice, District E-Mail) and a district learning management system (i.e., Google Classroom and/or Seesaw).
- My child will not be enrolled with Horry County Schools for the 2020-21 school year.
Nearly 15,000 parents responded to the elementary and middle school, and about 70% of them voted in favor of a hybrid learning system. As for the high schools, more than 6,000 parents completed the survey and 70% were in favor of hybrid learning as well.
Richardson said options will still be available for those who might not feel confident sending their children back.
The next meeting for the Horry County School Board is scheduled on Aug. 3, but they may call a special meeting before that date.