BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County School board has approved the district’s reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year.
The plans give parents three options for registration. The first option is a traditional, face-to-face schooling with all of the bells and whistles that come with social distancing and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The second option is a blended approach with students using a live-stream option as well as eLearning, but it is all still virtual.
The final options is enrollment for all online classes through the district or VirtualSC. This option is only available for grades 7-12.
“Nobody is going to be in love with us or love what we decide,” said school board member Sally Wofford. “We are going to make somebody very upset and they are going to think we are stupid and shortsighted and say we have no plan. Y’all we have hundreds of pages of plans.”
Several members of the board, including Wofford, applauded the effort to bring back traditional schooling.
“I think traditional is what we must do,” board member Ann Conder said. “I have a granddaughter who has been going through depression because she is in the step program and she can’t dance.”
Each parent will get to choose for themselves which option is best for their child. While board member Yvonne Bradley says she is happy with the reopening plans, she has concerns about face-to-face schooling.
She says all it takes is one student in a room with 30 people to cause some serious problems. “If he’s infected then we now have 29 others plus the teacher that has to be quarantined. What happens in that situation?” Bradley asked.
The option to go completely virtual may be the safest, but Superintendent Eddie Ingram says it could be harder in the fall than it was in the spring.
“When we shut down in March that was a lot easier because we had a relationship with our children, and we knew them. If we start virtually, we don’t know who they are and that is going to make it emotionally tougher on the child and the teacher,” Ingram said.
The first day of classes is set for Aug. 17, however that could still change. Registration opens Wednesday.