Charleston County Schools allowed to make up hurricane days virtually next year

VIDEO: Charleston County Schools allowed to make up hurricane days virtually next year

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District has received the green light to use virtual learning as a way to make up missed school days next year.

An eLearning pilot program will give the district the ability to teach students virtually if they cannot physically return to school because of events like hurricanes.

Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait outlined the program’s details during Monday’s school board meeting.

“Because we’ve been able to figure out how to serve the vast majority of our children with online learning, we could use that as a means to make up the instruction, and we would then not have to schedule make-days for students,” Postlewait said. “If we understand the grant correctly, it would also allow students who’ve been suspended from school to continue their studies through an online approach.”

Postlewait also talked about new ways they’re considering to keep students safe come next school year, including adding plexiglass between children like some other countries have installed.

“Our goal is to bring as many children back as quickly as possible, and of course under the safest imaginable conditions," she said. "We’d like to avoid split schedules if we could. We know we’ll be able to do that in some schools. Whether we’ll be able to avoid partial schools, some students some days, some students another is still a question we’re considering.”

An update from the Safe Restart Task Force was also given. They met for the first time on Friday.

The committee is made up of a number of members, including an MUSC representative, a Department of Health representative, two principals, two parents, district division leaders, and a business representative.

They are tasked with developing health, safety, and security protocols, identifying facility changes, and polling every family: “in school or online?”

They will be giving updates throughout the summer on their progress and will present a final report to the school board at the end of July.

Summer school programs are also ready to start on July 6 with 150 students having face to face sessions and 3,200 going to be getting instruction virtually.

Coordinators for that program said in-person lessons will have one teacher for every six students and will be spaced out to meet all health guidelines.

The county’s students may also be returning to school one week earlier than previously planned. An official decision on that will be made later this month, according to Postlewait.

The full board meeting can be watched here.

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