Marlboro County school leaders say 5-day in-class schedule ‘may not be our first option for consideration’

Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus (May 2020)

MARLBORO COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Officials with the Marlboro County School District said they will comply with Gov. Henry McMaster’s request to submit a schedule allowing for in-person learning five days a week, but “it may not be our first option for consideration.”

“Although none of us disagree that face to face instruction is designed to produce greater outcomes for the majority of students, we pause to reflect on the current times and conditions related to the health and safety for all citizens of Marlboro County,” a statement from the district released on Thursday said.

District officials note that recent data availble from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control shows that S.C. “has one of the highest infection rates in the country.”

As of July 15, 62,701 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been registered in S.C. since the start of the pandemic. There have been 984 confirmed deaths.

Marlboro County has registered 345 positive cases and four confirmed deaths, according to DHEC data as of July 15.

District officials said Marlboro County is the lone county where hybrid instruction would be considerable, according to information from DHEC.

“Hybrid instruction does not include students attending school 5 days a week,” the statement said in part. “Although we will comply with the request of the Governor to submit a 5-day student schedule, it may not be our first option for consideration. The health and safety of our complete district is too important for all of us to make any decision that might jeopardize a life.”

District leaders said they will continue to plan accordingly for the upcoming school year as they receive information from state and local medical experts.

The Marlboro County School Board is set for a special-called meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21. District officials said they will share their plans and make decisions “that are best for all in Marlboro County School District.”

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