COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Education Superintendent Molly Spearman presented back-to-school recommendations at a Monday afternoon news conference.
AccelerateED officials said they took more than 2,000 comments into account. They said what exactly what school looks like in the Fall will depend on the status of the coronavirus at that time.
Spearman says if the virus is running rampant, “We’re not going to sacrifice the safety of our children.”
The recommendations run the gamut from best cleaning practices to different school schedules.
One of the bigger things to come out of today's news conference was that Spearman says she will pursue a waiver from mandated, standardized tests.
“I will do all within my power to provide the relief from testing from high stakes tests that South Carolina teachers and parents always advocate that we change,” she said.
The full report contains four phases for districts and schools to prepare for the new school year:
- Immediate Actions
- Summer Planning and Preparation
- Reopening and Continuity of Operations
It also focuses on three models for reopening.
A “traditional” schedule model that assumes a low spread or no spread of the virus with students returning to the classroom.
A “hybrid” model assumes a medium spread and a medium number of positive number of cases within the school building in which only a portion of students and staffers can return to the campuses.
The third model, “Full Distance Learning,” assumes a high spread of COVID-19 and high numbers of positive cases within the school buildings and would force districts to rely on virtual learning until the health situation allows otherwise.
Those recommendations were created by AccelerateED, a task force created to determine how South Carolina schools can safely reopen in the fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The group has met approximately two dozen times since the pandemic began with the goal of balancing learning and safety when school is back in session.
You can watch the the press conference below or click here.