Charleston County parents given 5 days to choose virtual or in-person

Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 5:29 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County parents got an enrollment form Wednesday that asks them to choose a virtual or in-person option for their child for the fall.

The form has two options and is due back on Monday, Aug. 3.

Option 1: Students would be enrolled in in-person classes. Depending on their school capacity, they would either go in five days a week or would only go in a few days a week (a hybrid schedule).

If the school district rules it too unsafe to reopen its buildings on Sept. 8, then all students enrolled in this option would temporarily learn from home.

Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait said on Friday that the schools in which capacity will be limited should be announced by the end of this week.

“We understand that is a critical component of parents in making up their minds as to when their child goes back to school in-person when it’s safe or participate in the Virtual Academy,” school district spokesperson Andy Pruitt said. “We are working hard to get that list finalized.”

Option 2: Students would be enrolled in the all-year Virtual Academy. They would then have to make at least a nine-week commitment for kindergarten or eighth graders or an entire semester commitment for anyone taking a high school course.

Students in this program would learn from home but would remain enrolled at their home school if they wanted to return after the nine-week or semester-long commitments.

Postlewait said on Monday she anticipates reopening with most students temporarily learning from home and cited the county’s high COVID-19 case numbers as to why.

Charleston County must see a downward trend in the virus’ rates over a 14-day period before the board will consider changing the operating mode, according to the district. Data will be reviewed every two weeks by staff and monthly by the school board.

“This is an important stage over the next few days, and we really encourage everyone to make sure their contact information is up to date with their schools,” Pruitt said.

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