State receives Horry County Schools’ reopening plan; may not be approved until next week

Parents show concern over HCS reopening plan awaiting approval

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The South Carolina Department of Education said that it has officially received Horry County Schools’ reopening plan.

The Horry County School Board voted in favor of sending the plan to the state after Superintendent Rick Maxey presented it during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Parents will have two options for their kids’ learning environment during the pandemic:

  • Option 1: “Brick-and-Mortar” or a traditional way of schooling
  • Option 2: Attend K-12 virtual program

Maxey explained that if parents choose traditional schooling, their first day of school will be Sept. 8, but there are factors that will be determined by the South Carolina disease activity report. Information from the report that will be released on Aug. 31 will determine how students will go to class.

  • If the report determines “low spread” of the disease, then HCS students will return to full-time traditional schooling for five days a week.
  • If the report determines “medium spread” then the students will take part in a hybrid combination of face-to-face and distance learning. There will be two days of face-to-face instruction and three days of distance learning.
  • If the report determines “high spread’ then schooling will start on Sept. 8 with five days of distance learning.

Jessica Chasse, who has a son entering the 11th grade, said she plans to choose traditional schooling. She said he needs to be in a learning environment, separate from home.

But Chasse said the uncertainty of if her son will be in a classroom, in a hybrid situation or distance learning leaves little room for planning.

“I think they should have been a little more concrete, as in go with the plan for right now to have the kids go back to school so everybody can get it in their mindset. It’s better to be prepared for the worst and pray for the best,” Chasse said.

Meanwhile, parents must decide by Monday which option they will choose, but it appears that the state may not have the plan approved by the time.

A spokesperson for the state Department of Education said the approval timeline relies on the quality of the plan and whether it addresses all the items that are required by the state. If the HCS reopening plan is good, then the school district will be notified early to mid-next week if the plan is approved.

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