COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Colleton County School Board has approved a new calendar for the school year including the later start date of Sept. 8.
The vote was made during a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the virtual plan for the 2020-2021 school year.
District officials say the idea is to start the school year with the full virtual learning option and then gradually transition to in-person learning.
“As the rate of COVID-19 infection decreases in the county that we would gradually shift to an in person model, so first it would be blended learning,” said Sean Gruber, the coordinator of communications for the Colleton County School District.
School board members say Gov. Henry McMaster’s announcement regarding giving parents an option for in-person learning was not a requirement for plan approval.
The district is in the process of creating a parent survey to figure out if they have internet access and give them two options for the school year.
The first would be to have their children start virtual learning and then transition into one of the other reopening models that the school board will choose. The second would give students an option to stay with the virtual learning for the entire year.
During the last school board meeting, board members voted to start the new school year virtually.
A day later, McMaster made an announcement that school districts statewide must give parents the option to send their children to school for five-day in-person learning this fall.
Gruber said they are planning on moving forward with their virtual learning plan.
The school district had also asked the state for an extension in submitting their reopening plans.
“Our virtual learning plan was approved by the board, so the assumption that we have is that there is not going to be in changes in that,” Gruber said. “We did ask for an extension, the reason for that is because the school plans require dates and we are discussing changing the calendar [at tonight’s board meeting].”
The recommendation was made by the school district's re-entry task force in an effort to give teachers more time to train for the virtual learning.