Georgetown Co. School District to use eLearning, provide free meals for children amid coronavirus school closures

Georgetown Co. School District to use eLearning, provide free meals for children

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - During a special board meeting, the Georgetown County School District outlined how they will address the mandated school closures and coronavirus concerns.

On Monday, the board met to discuss the district's coronavirus response plan at the J.B. Beck Administration and Education Center.

Food Distribution

Georgetown County school officials say they realize that students still have needs that need to be met and they feel strongly that their students still need to receive meals during the school closure. They say the United States Department of Agriculture is allowing them to serve students under the Summer Food Service Program.

The district will serve food at 15 schools in Georgetown County with a drive-thru format. Any child age 18 and under will be able to get meals starting Tuesday, March 17. You do not have to be student to receive a free meal.

Their goal is to provide breakfast and lunch each day and they plan to operate Mondays through Thursdays. Friday's meal will be distributed on Thursday. Each day when students pick up their lunch, they will be given breakfast for the following day as well. Meals can be picked up between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Here is the list of participating schools:

Andrews Area Andrews High School Sampit Elementary School Georgetown Area Georgetown Middle School McDonald Elementary School Maryville Elementary School Kensington Elementary School Carvers Bay Area Brown’s Ferry Elementary School Carvers Bay Middle School Plantersville Elementary School Pleasant Hill Elementary School Waccamaw Area Waccamaw Elementary School

The school district says more than 70 percent of their schools are Title 1, which are low-income and they meet the criteria for receiving free and reduced lunch. District officials say if they don't see a enough turnout among children who are receiving the meals, they will use buses to deliver food to make sure children are eating.

The school district says the menu will change based on availability of deliveries from the suppliers. They are preparing to feed up to 5,000 children a day.

eLearning

The Georgetown County School District has eLearning capabilities where students can do work and connect with teachers from home on school-issued mobile devices.

On Wednesday, students will be allowed to come to their schools to pick up their eLearning devices between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pick-up times on Thursday are 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

If student can't pick up devices, they will be delivered to the students. Students may also use their own devices if they have them. District officials ask that parents call the school to make those arrangements.

School leaders say teachers will not be in school starting Friday, but they will begin designated remote office hours that day. During those office hours students will have access to teachers via calls or messaging for questions or help with school assignments.

Pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade will have paper packets for assignments. Grades third through 12th will have electronic devices.

Internet Access

The school district says Spectrum is offering a 60-day waiver fee so people can have WiFi for free if needed. To learn more about the free services contact 1-844-488-8395.

The school district's IT department is working with Verizon to have smart buses to provide mobile WiFi.

The county also provides mobile hot spots to areas who don't have service.

School workers impacted by closure

The school board says salary employees will still receive pay. During the meeting, school leaders said bus drivers and crossing guards, who are hourly employees, might be able to assist custodians, food service workers and maintenance workers during this time. They encouraged workers who might not be able to adapt their schedules to contact the employment office regarding layoff benefits.

Building maintenance workers will be working to ensure the schools are sanitized and in proper shape when students return.

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