Some Grand Strand private schools prepare to reopen for traditional learning next month

Some Grand Strand private schools prepare to reopen for traditional learning next month

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - While public schools in Horry County will start back in September due to COVID-19, some local private schools will reopen next month.

Staff and students at Ascent Christian Academy in North Myrtle Beach will head back to the classrooms for face-to-face learning on August 17.

Inside the school, you can see some safety precautions already in place ahead of the school year, such as six feet apart stickers in the common areas, hand sanitizer and closed water fountains.

Ann Black, the school’s founder, said these safety precautions were in place when they reopened the building in May for summer childcare.

“We’ve done so well with our preschool in keeping it safe and sanitized that I feel very confident opening back up August 17,” Black said.

Parents Anthony and Tiffany Browning whose two children will return next month feel the same way.

The small, close-knit school, which is made of up of about 35 students and 10 staff members, is the main reason why.

“I feel like in this environment it’s going to be safer for us as a family,” Tiffany said.

“I’ve seen first-hand here at Barefoot Church and ACA how they take extra precautions in sanitizing everything,” Anthony said.

As for wearing masks, Black said it’s optional.

She said the school normally begins their day with prayer and gathers again for chapel on Friday. For now, the classes will pray individually.

“That’s really our main concern is just the group setting so alleviating that makes us feel much better,” Black said.

As for teachers, they’ll receive temperature checks and training on what to look for in COVID-19 symptoms.

If someone is exposed to the virus, they’ll be sent home and quarantined for at least two weeks.

However, Black said teachers remain optimistic to welcome students back for the first day of school.

“They’re excited,” Black said. “They’re ready to be back in class and be with their kids and start building those relationships back again.”

The school will also offer online learning for the few students whose parents are concerned.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.