CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District has released a proposal of re-opening schools which includes a Sept. 8 start date for students, face masks for students and staff, and a virtual online option.
“We will continue to work with local medical experts, but we believe this position is in the best interest of students and staff given the current COVID-19 spread rate,” CCSD officials said in the proposal.
The board is expected to vote on the first reading of the proposal on Monday.
According to the proposal, teachers will report to work on Aug. 11, and parents will be given a 20-day advance notice of any subsequent change to the school start date.
“Testing for school faculty no more than two weeks before returning to work will be highly recommended,” district officials said. “Arrangements have been made with medical providers to offer testing free of charge.”
The proposal states that all CCSD parents/guardians will be given the opportunity to select between in-person school or virtual school (at-home) for their child prior to the start of school.
CCSD said their goal is to safely offer full-time, in-person school for all students, or as many as possible depending on each school.
According to the district, based on current analyses, at least 50% of CCSD schools will be able to bring all students back to school for full-time in-person instruction using social distancing protocols. The remaining schools will be able to bring back between 50% and 90% of their students for full-time, in-person, according to district officials.
District officials say they will offer a full-time Virtual Academy for students who do not want to participate in in-person instruction for safety reasons. The Virtual model will be offered only online.
“Participating CCSD teachers will be assigned only to the Virtual Academy,” the district said in its proposal. “Students will remain on their home school roster, but will receive assignments, assessments, and grades from the Virtual Academy. Courses will be purchased from proven online providers with CCSD teachers delivering content. Internet access and technology will be required. K-8 students may exit Virtual Academy at the end of any 9 weeks; high school students may exit at semester’s end.”
The proposal states that all student seats will be spaced 6 feet apart unless plexiglass dividers are used.
Based on the classroom size, the number of students could range from a few to more than 20, using recommended social distancing protocol. Student work tables where 6-foot distancing is not possible will have plexiglass dividers to separate students as they work.
The proposal outlines face masks as well which calls for students and staff to wear face coverings at all times whenever 6-foot spacing cannot be followed.
“Students will wear face coverings as they enter the building and move about the building or classroom at all times,” CCSD officials said.”Face coverings can be removed when students are seated at their work spaces. Students will also be expected to wear face coverings on buses. (Note: Students who are age two or younger and students/staff with documented medical conditions that would prevent it are not expected to wear face coverings.)”