Horry County Schools expected to start installing plexiglass workstations next week

Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 9:19 AM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Horry County Schools will soon install an additional safety measure for students.

The school district hopes the plexiglass workstations move schools closer to the goal of students returning to the classroom five days a week.

Horry County Schools spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said elementary schools were chosen first because of the age of the students and the importance of full-time face-to- face learning.

The school district is expected to begin the installation process for the workstations in elementary schools next Friday, Nov. 13.

HCS estimates the completion date for elementary schools to be Sunday, Nov. 22, with the exception of Socastee Elementary School.

Bourcier said the new schools require a different design for the workstations because of the width and shape of the desks. She said Midland Elementary School will also require a different design since they have new style tables.

Once the elementary schools are taken care of, the district will move on to middle and high schools but no timeline is set yet.

As of earlier this week, the school district received about 23% of the acrylic and 62% of framing materials needed to build the stations. The district receives more shipments daily.

The South Carolina Department of Education gave HCS almost $4 million worth of plexiglass.

Bourcier said the district received South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control recommendations for plexiglass last month. This gave them guidelines and safety protocols to put in place with the goal of eventually having students full-time all week long.

The shield is tall and takes up three sides of the desk. Some will look different because of the furnishings at the school.

One parent said his concern about the new addition is how it could affect social interactions.

“One thing that concerns me specifically is for the special needs children that they make sure they actually have the ability. They seem fairly large, so is that going to limit their ability to communicate with other kids or communicate between the teachers, and also how much interaction is going to be available between the teachers and the kids if there is large glass shield around the kids entirely," David Warner said.

When addressing this concern, Bourcier said being able to bring back more of their friends in a safer environment is something they look forward to offering.

The plexiglass will be installed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to help limit disruptions to classroom instruction.

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