Georgetown County School District creates reopening taskforce, survey for parents

VIDEO: Georgetown County School District creates reopening taskforce, survey for parents

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Georgetown County School District wants to hear from parents and students when making their reopening decisions.

Last week, the district's new Superintendent Keith Price announced the school district is creating a reopening taskforce to develop plans for the upcoming school year.

It’s too soon to tell what next school year could look like during the coronavirus pandemic.

High School Student Nicholas Bania says he has some concerns with returning to school.

“If we go back to school it’s going to be chaos,” Bania said. “It makes me a little bit nervous because who knows there may be five to ten people who could be sick and anyone else could get it.”

The district says the taskforce will include district and school administrators, teachers, counselors, nurses, transportation and facilities staff, parents and students. They’ll meet virtually and decide what state safety recommendations to use to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The school district’s Executive Director of Safety and Risk Management Alan Walters serves on the state taskforce and will also serve on the district taskforce.

“Districts can pick and choose what parts work for them, and they don’t have to use the ones they don’t think will work for them,” Walters said.

Walters says one of the challenges in Georgetown County is the lack of broadband access in some areas for eLearning. He says another is transportation because the district is more than 800 square miles.

“There are bus routes that on a good day are 1 hour and 15 minutes, maybe even an hour and a half,' Walters said. “Now, if you’re looking at diminished capacity in the number of students who ride the bus, it’s just not practical to run that route twice because you’d run buses all day long for them.”

Teri is Nicholas’ mom say she is concerned, but is in favor of reopening with the right measures in place.

“I would really like for them to go back so they can be social again with kids and I’m a little bit skeptical of them going the first couple of weeks,” Teri said.

She took the online survey for parents and says she likes the consideration of alternating days where students could both learn from home and go to school in an effort to limit capacity.

”We have to live day by day and go with the flow, you just got to do your best and stay safe,” Teri said.

The GCSD says each school will also have its own committee that will include administrators, faculty, staff and parents who will work implementing the plan.

Parents can provide feedback through a survey the district created.

You can find that survey here.

The survey asks questions like how comfortable families are with sending their children to school, how important certain safeguards are like masks, temperature checks and minimizing contact of students with others.

It also asks parents about their child care needs and if parents would be in favor of a hybrid schedule where students could come to school and learn from home depending on the day in order to limit the number of people in the building at one time.

These are some examples of the types of questions in the survey. District employees also have a separate survey.

If anyone would like to share comments you can email publiccomments@gcsd.k12.sc.us . The deadline for comments is Friday, June 26, 2020.

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