LIST: How Lowcountry school districts are dealing with the COVID-19-related school closures

Updated: Mar. 16, 2020 at 8:19 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced Sunday he was ordering the closure of the state’s K-12 schools, colleges, and universities through at least March 31.

Lowcountry school districts have been monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and say they have been following guidance from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Now that the schools have been closed for at least the rest of March, here’s how each Lowcountry district is planning to address concerns.

All Charleston County School District schools and offices will be closed to students until March 31.

All school-related activities and travel, including before and after school programs, are canceled.

All district staff members are requested to report to work as needed Tuesday in order to make preparations for the closure.

The Charleston County School District Office of Nutrition Services will be offering a drive-thru “Grab & Go” Style Meal Service consisting of a breakfast and lunch for students at 15 sites within the Charleston County School District.

Any district student can pick-up a meal from any of the sites below. The following sites have been designated for meal distribution:

  • Carolina Voyager Charter
  • Charleston Charter for Math and Science
  • Charleston County School of the Arts
  • Charleston Progressive Academy
  • Chicora Elementary School
  • E.B. Ellington Elementary School
  • Goodwin Elementary School
  • Harborview Elementary School
  • Haut Gap Middle School
  • Ladson Elementary School
  • Laing Middle School
  • Sanders Clyde Elementary School
  • St. James-Santee Elementary-Middle School
  • Stall High School

Schools in Berkeley County will be closed through at least March 31.

All district employees were required to report to their location on Tuesday and should plan to work the number of hours per day as stated in his or her job description to prepare for the extended school closure.

All after school activities and sporting events are canceled until further notice and information concerning rescheduling will be released when it becomes available.

Additionally, all before and after school daycare programs are canceled until further notice.

All student registration dates will be rescheduled following the return of staff and students.

All field studies and school-related activities are canceled until further notice. This includes all students and adults. There will be no travel in or out-of-state.

While eLearning has been designed and utilized as a make-up day tool, as an active participant in the state‘s eLearning pilot, BCSD is uniquely prepared to modify our eLearning plans to continue offering instruction to our students. As a part of our modified, emergency eLearning plan, BCSD students will have the opportunity to participate in instruction from home with provided materials, and teachers will be available to support students during his/her regular school schedule.

Please do not expect to receive any instructional materials or assignments for eLearning from your child’s teacher until Wednesday.

BCSD school leaders and teachers will communicate with students and parents regarding how they can be contacted during school hours to support student learning. For example, some teachers may choose email for this communication and others may prefer Google Classroom. The support format a child’s school and/or teacher will be using will be communicated to parents and guardians via phone calls, emails, and/or social media. Our school leaders and teachers will contact parents/guardians and provide further guidance on expectations as soon as plans for instruction are finalized.

This modified, emergency eLearning experience does require that students in grades 1-12 have a Chromebook device checked out with a power adapter. Due to Friday being an eLearning day, we anticipate that the majority of the students have a school-issued electronic device. Parents will remain outside while the school follows the protocol for device check-out.

Although we cannot replace the value of traditional instruction that provides for direct student and teacher interaction with eLearning, we know that continued instruction is important and ask that our stakeholders trust and support our very capable educators as they adjust to their modified teaching and learning model. We recognize this is a huge undertaking and will require tremendous effort from all; however, BCSD is resilient and recognizes the call for demonstrating adaptability and critical thinking to provide the best possible experience for our students. If you have any questions or concerns pertaining to an individual circumstance, we ask that you communicate that to your child’s teacher / school.

Berkeley County Schools say they will be providing hot lunch and a snack at no cost to children 18 years old and younger. A drive-through pick up service has been set up at the locations below. The locations will be open from 11 am until noon, Monday through Friday."

Students will not be permitted to enter the building or eat on site. This is open to all Berkeley County children.

Click here for a list of locations.

Schools in Dorchester School District Two will be closed through at least March 31.

Through March 31, DD2 will provide free student lunches between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday - Friday. This service is available to all Dorchester County students. Lunch will be provided at the following locations:

  • Oakbrook Elementary School
  • SPANN Elementary School
  • Alston-Bailey Emelmentary School
  • Flowertown Elementary School
  • William M. Reeves Jr. Elementary School
  • Windsor Hill Elementary School
  • Eagle Nest Elementary School

Dorchester County School District 4 schools will be closed through at least March 31.

Parents may pick up school work for their children to complete during the time of schools’ closure from their school on Monday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

DD4’s Food Service Department will provide breakfast and lunch for Dorchester Four students. This will begin on Tuesday,. These meals will be provided throughout the schools’ closure and may be picked up Mondays through Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the locations listed below:

  • Clay Hill Elementary
  • Four Holes Indian Reservation
  • Sampson Road Carter Station
  • Saint George Middle
  • Saint Mark United Methodist Church
  • Shady Grove United Methodist Church
  • Saint Matthews Baptist Church
  • Williams Memorial Elementary
  • New Grace United Methodist Church
  • Jericho Baptist Church
  • Jerusalem Baptist Church
  • Saint Mark Baptist Church
  • Cedarwood Apartments
  • Harleyville Elementary School
  • Odyssey Educational Center
  • Winfield Apartments

Beaufort County School District schools will be closed through at least March 31.

All school-related events, including after-school activities and spring sports, have been put on hold by the governor’s order.

While Beaufort County School District schools are closed, students will be able to participate in online learning activities.

“This is an unprecedented situation, something that has never occurred in our lifetimes,” Superintendent Frank Rodriguez said. “But our school teams have been preparing for this, and they’re moving forward with their plans.”

In addition to at-home lessons, the school district will offer free breakfasts and lunches on weekdays at regional pick-up locations across the county.

“Thousands of Beaufort County families depend on our schools to provide meals for kids, and we don’t want the current emergency to stop that,” Rodriguez said. “Our food service contractor, Sodexo, has set up a distribution system we can fine-tune as needed in the days ahead.”

Rodriguez said any child age 18 or younger can receive free breakfasts and lunches regardless of meal status during the school year.

Meals will be prepared and transported to 12 sites across the county:

  • Battery Creek High
  • Beaufort High
  • Beaufort Middle
  • Bluffton High
  • Hilton Head Island High
  • James J. Davis Early Childhood Center
  • Okatie Elementary
  • Red Cedar Elementary
  • St. Helena Elementary
  • Whale Branch Early College High
  • Port Royal YMCA.
  • Whale Branch Middle School

Drive-through meal pick-ups will be available in the bus rider drop-offs at each location from 7:15 a.m.-8:45 a.m. (breakfast) and 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (lunch). Students must be present at the time of pick up. All food will be “grab-and-go,” with no food consumed on site. No one will be allowed in the school buildings.

Breakfast items will vary and may include cereal with milk, fruit, Fruit Frudels, whole grain Pop-Tarts, cereal bars, milk and juice. Lunches will be sandwiches, fruit, fresh vegetables and milk.

School officials say they are using school buses to drop off meals at specific 20-minute stops across the county. A list of those new meal pick-up locations will be posted at Parents are being encouraged to check the new list of bus routes and 20-minute stops to find the location nearest to them.

All Colleton County schools will be closed to students through March 31.

Parents who were not able to pick up these packets in person may also access them electronically on their child’s school website.

During our closure, Colleton County School District will develop a plan to distribute meals to our students. Starting Tuesday, times and locations for student meal pick up will be announced through multiple information channels.

All school athletic events and school district activities have been canceled.

The Georgetown County School District feels strongly that students still need to receive meals during these times and therefore have decided to continue meal service for students. The USDA is allowing the district to serve students under the Summer Food Service Program guidance for all children ages 18 and under.

The following sites will serve meals using a drive through service.

  • Andrews Area
  • Georgetown Area
  • Carvers Bay Area
  • Waccamaw Area

District officials say the menu will change depending on availability of deliveries from suppliers, but urge people to rest assured that the students of Georgetown County will have nutritious meals during this time of closure.

The district plans to provide a breakfast and lunch each day it remains closed and anticipates operating four days per week with Friday’s meals being distributed on Thursday.

Each day when students pick up their lunch, they will be given the following days breakfast as well. Meals can be picked up between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at any of the locations listed above.

Williamsburg County School District schools will be closed through at least March 31.

There was no immediate word from the district on plans for possible teacher workdays, remote learning or meals for students.

South Carolina announced two additional cases of the virus Thursday, bringing the total number to 12. Six of those cases are confirmed by the CDC while the remaining six are still awaiting confirmation.

DHEC said included in that number was one new case in Kershaw County and a new possible case in Lancaster County. These two new cases make eight total in Kershaw County, two in Lancaster County, one in Charleston County and one in Spartanburg County.

The new presumptive case from Lancaster County is a household contact, a family member or close friend, of a previous case. He was evaluated at a healthcare facility and is currently isolated at home.

The new presumptive case from Kershaw County is a Camden man who is currently hospitalized and in isolation. DHEC say they are working working with the healthcare facility and taking routine measures to prevent possible spread.

DHEC has tested a total of 87 individuals for COVID-19, which includes the six presumptive positive cases and six confirmed cases.

Gov. Henry McMaster asked lawmakers to release $45 million to state health officials as soon as possible for respond to the virus.

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