HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Families in Horry County have an answer on how students will learn when the school year kicks off next week.
The latest disease activity report released Monday from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shows Horry County falls under the ‘medium spread’ category for COVID-19.
District officials for Horry County Schools previously said Horry County students would use the hybrid model of learning to begin the school year if this report showed medium spread.
Under the model, students will have two days of face-to-face instruction and three days of distance learning. According to information from the district, student schedules will be available in PowerSchool on Wednesday, Sept. 2, no later than 5 p.m.
Students enrolled in brick-and-mortar schools will also learn their scheduled groups as well, HCS officials said. Those in groups A and G will begin in-person instruction on Tuesday, Sept 8, while students in group B will start face-to-face learning on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
If Monday’s disease report had determined a ‘low spread,’ students would have returned to full-time traditional schooling for five days a week. If deemed ‘high spread,’ students would have been instructed five days a week via distance learning.
This year, parents were given two options for their kids’ learning environment:
- “Brick-and-Mortar” or a traditional way of schooling
- Attend K-12 virtual program
Last week, HCS said 13,377 students planned to take part in the virtual program, which is about 30 percent of the district’s student population.
The deadline for parents to sign up for virtual learning was Aug. 10.
Horry County School Board Chairman Ken Richardson said the district is prepared to start hybrid learning next week, and school leaders will provide parents more information about their classrooms and groupings this Wednesday.
“On Wednesday, they’ll learn everything they need to know as far as bus routes and day schedules,” Richardson said. “[The district tried] to work with parents who have like three children in [the same] households. So, the children might all be in Group A or all in Group B, but we’re trying to [structure the schedules] where they can all be in school on the same days and at home on the same days.”
The district held a ’Pathways to Back to School’ for parents, eager to learn more details about their kids returning back to both virtual and traditional learning. Some of the key takeaways from that forum include:
- Parents are encouraged to stay in contact with the student’s instructor as much as possible, in both learning modules.
- Starting September 8, the school district will be taking attendance for all students in both virtual and hybrid learning program.
- The bus transportation coordinator or HCS says parents can access the hybrid program bus route schedules and times on the school district’s website.