Berkeley County schools start year with blended model, new safety guidelines

VIDEO: Berkeley County schools welcome students with new safety guidelines

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County School District launches the new school year Tuesday with students having the option of learning from home every day or in person every day.

In terms of instruction, not much is changing in the classroom. Students learning both in-person and virtually will learn simultaneously on the normal school schedule. But there will be some new rules and guidelines to follow.

“We do have the shields separating the students and the tables,” Westview High School 3rd grade teacher Shana Taylor said.

Students coming to learn in person will be coming every day and staying for the normal school day time each day. They will social distance in the classroom at all times. All students and teachers’ temperatures will be taken before entering the school.

The district strongly recommends masks in the hallways as well as at any other location students and staff cannot social distance.

Westview Elementary in Goose Creek says it will have one-way hallways, to limit the amount of hallway contact between students. The school is averaging about 15 students per classroom, with the other half learning online. Taylor says she has 10 in the classroom and 11 enrolled to learn from home.

For their special-area classes like art, music, and physical education, rather than the students changing class, those teachers will come to them.

At Westview Elementary, they will have the same special subject, like music, every day at the same time, except for one day a week, they will have P.E.

The students learning virtually will be able to see the related arts teacher who comes in through the video camera, the same way they see their primary teacher so they can participate in real time.

“So once we are in the classroom, we’re really not leaving the classroom unless we are going to the hall bathrooms or to recess,” Taylor said.

BCSD says new guidelines from the CDC came out that allow students to play on playgrounds outside, but they still won’t be using many musical instruments or additional equipment for the related arts.

That also makes it easier for students learning from home. However, they say if they were to need it, they would provide a time for virtual students’ parents to come pick up the materials.

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