Charleston Co. School District to vote on reopening plans

Updated: Jul. 27, 2020 at 7:15 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District Board of Trustees is set to have its final vote on the district’s Safe Restart Plan Monday night.

The plan includes a Sept. 8 start date, face mask requirements for students and staff, and an all-year virtual option.

On Friday, the Charleston County School’s Restart Task Force met for the last time – finalizing the proposal for going back to school in the fall.

CCSD officials said their goal is to serve as many students as they can in person, as soon as it’s safe to do so. Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait said if the district can start with any small number of students safely Sept. 8, they will. Otherwise, they will open in temporary remote mode and revisit monthly.

If the reopening plan is approved, officials said parents would then receive a survey about their learning preferences. The form would ask parents whether they want in-person learning (if possible) or virtual. It would then have follow-ups to those options, like asking if they’d prefer in-person even if the school will operate on a split schedule.

“We can go and directly engage our parents and directly engage our teachers to see what their level of comfort is, what they want, what the options are, what they would choose, and then we can start aligning our staff with that,” CCSD Director of Communications and Technology Andy Pruitt said.

If the plan is approved Monday, here is a timeline of the likely next steps:

  • July 27 - Board approves a School Restart Plan
  • July 28-Aug. 4 - Determine parents’ enrollment choice and teacher preferences
  • Aug. 4-10 - Analyze enrollment results: Attempt to match parent requests, teacher preferences
  • Aug. 18-28 - Complete master scheduling; transportation capacities, facility retrofitting
  • Assist families with digital devices and virtual programs as needed

Many parents have asked for clarification on which schools could reopen to all of its students, if deemed safe, and which ones would only reopen to some. District officials said those details have not yet been finalized, but they’re working to release that information this week as well.

They added things can change depending on the state of the pandemic but they want to prepare as best they can.

The Board Meeting to approve the final restart plan is set to start at 4 p.m.

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