Dorchester District 2 sticks with plan to start hybrid model next week

VIDEO: Dorchester District 2 sticks with plan to start hybrid model next week

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester District 2 is moving forward with its hybrid model starting Sept. 21 despite discussions of an earlier start to traditional learning.

School board members said they have received a lot of feedback from people who want face-to-face learning five days a week, as well as people who want the district to stick to their original plan.

Others want the district to stay fully virtual.

During Monday night’s meeting, school board members decided to stick with their original plan but re-assess in two weeks. District leaders said they are using guidelines and ratings from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to make their decision.

“When you see the numbers in the trend, you have to have hope we’re moving in the right direction,” DD2 Superintendent Joe Pye said. “We are just moving there safely, cautiously, and putting the best interest of our students first.”

DD2 teachers showed up to the school board meeting in protest of any potential changes to the plan. They said the idea of transitioning into a full traditional model too early would jeopardize the safety of students and staff.

Rachel Collins, a fifth-grade teacher, said she was hoping school board members were listening to teachers and making the right decisions.

“Not long ago a teacher passed away in Columbia, and it’s not going to be an if but a when that’s going to be a headline for a student, and that’s what I see in the future if we do not follow the science and follow those safety guidelines,” Collins said.

Right now, the school district is at a “medium” risk level for COVID-19.

District officials said they will determine when to come back fully face-to-face depending on that data. After they have tried out the hybrid model for two weeks, they will have another discussion.

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