SC school districts prepare for gradual return of teachers and staff

VIDEO: Schools prepare to reopen for staff

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The school year is coming to an end in South Carolina and school districts are making preparations to bring teachers and staff back into the buildings.

Employees are starting to go back to their schools to finish end of the year paperwork and perform other duties. As that begins to happen, there are some concerns about safety.

At the state level, officials say they been talking about preparations for schools. During Thursday’s AccelerateED Task Force meeting, state superintendent Molly Spearman said she’s has requested protective gear for schools.

Different districts and schools are making their own plans and preparations.

Dorchester School District 2 will open schools for their employees beginning Monday, May 18 on a staggered, abbreviated schedule.

Trever Etminan is a DD2 teacher who says the district has listened to their concerns and is taking the right steps to safely re-open.

"I feel really good because one I haven't really been able to access my classroom for such a long period of time," Etminan said. "There are things that will be helpful to have as we start closing off the school year and as we start finalizing things for students."

Pat Raynor, a spokesperson for the district, said they are following CDC and DHEC guidelines when it comes to re-opening their schools, and making sure people are on different schedules. The schools will be providing face masks for staff and teachers as they come in.

Raynor says people with issues about coming back in will be able to work with principals on an individual basis.

"Buildings will not be open to the public except by certain appointments," Raynor said. "[Schools] are working on processes and procedures that they'll send out about students being able to retrieve their personal items and turn in books."

The Charleston County School District has already started letting some teachers and staff into their schools because of renovation projects and different circumstances.

CCSD spokesman Andy Pruitt said employees are splitting shifts every other day while determining with the school administrators what they can and can’t do. People with extraneous circumstances can work with the principal.

For the majority of the schools, teachers will be returning after May 22 and PPE will be offered at every school if teachers need it.

Pruitt says the “slow phase in” process depends on the circumstance of the individual and the circumstance of the school.

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