HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Students in Horry County schools will resume a hybrid learning model next week.
According to information from the district, students who are in groups A and G will return to brick-and-mortar schools on Jan. 19, while students in Group B will return to brick-and-mortar schools the following day.
Last month, Horry County Schools announced students would be fully virtual for the first two weeks after the winter break.
“We took this approach of taking two weeks and going virtual to buy some time and get us to a situation where we didn’t have as many employees and staff and students out,” said Horry County Board of Education Chairman Ken Richardson.
Richardson says the superintendent and his staff were in charge of deciding when to resume the hybrid model.
The board didn’t take a vote on it, but he says the superintendent’s office has access to enough data to make the call.
“When I got that, it let me know that we feel like it’s safe enough to put the kids back in the school and we feel like we have enough staff to do it,” said Richardson.
Richardson says it may be the first step toward bringing some students back five days a week.
He says that could start to happen at some schools by the start of the next semester on February 1st, but it will likely be gradual.
“It’s not going to be like on such and such a day, all kids are going back five days,” said Richardson.
Richardson says it revolves around plexiglass and the virus’s spread in specific areas.
He says the priority is on the elementary schools, where the plexiglass should be up at all 28 by next week.
Getting elementary school students back in the classrooms is also a key issue for District 6 Board Member Helen Smith.
“Our elementary students are critical because they do not handle computer learning as well as middle and high school students do,” said Smith.
Richardson says they’re finishing the plexiglass at the elementary schools, and they just started installing it in the middle schools.