Georgetown County School District sticking with hybrid model

Georgetown County School District sticking with hybrid model
The Georgetown County School District will continue with their hybrid model after school board members voted down a plan to bring more students back in school buildings. (Source: Live 5/File)

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Georgetown County School District will continue with their hybrid model after school board members voted down a plan to bring more students back in school buildings.

District officials revealed a “Hybrid PLUS” proposal to board members during Tuesday’s school board meeting, that would allow Pre-K through 5th grade students return to the classroom 4 days a week on Nov. 30.

Board members rejected the proposal through a 5-4 vote.

Parents, community members, and teachers showed up the board meeting to give their opinions on what the school board should do.

A group of parents have been advocating for at least 4 days of in-person instruction. Austin Bond, a parent with two children in Georgetown County schools, said the district should learn from other school districts and give their children a choice to go back to class.

“We are currently in a hybrid model here in Georgetown County which is 2 days of in-person instruction per week, and we believe it’s time to head back to full 5 days a week instruction or four-day instruction,” Bond said. “We also believe those who are not comfortable moving towards in person instruction, the virtual program is currently in place and we understand that fully.”

Many of the parents who spoke said the hybrid model is not working for their children, and they are worried about students' mental health and ability to learn in the current system.

The parents have created a petition to send students back that has received hundreds of signatures.

People also spoke out against any decision to send students back to school for more than the two days that are in the current hybrid model.

Elizabeth Brachna, a special education teacher in the school district, said that while the changes wouldn’t affect her personally, it would affect a lot of teachers and students.

“Teachers want desperately to go back face to face, but we want to be safe and we want our students and their families to be safe,” Brachna said. “One student of mine sick or dying, is one too many.”

Some school board members are hoping to revisit this discussion in the beginning of next year. The next school board meeting is set for Dec. 1.

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