DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester District 2 will continue their school-based hybrid instructional model through Friday, Nov. 6. District officials say data shows a slight increase in COVID-19 rates within the county, so they want to stick with the current model.
The hybrid model has students in grades 3-5 going to school for a half day, 5 days a week.
During Monday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Joe Pye said he was hoping they would receive better news about bringing more students back to school face-to-face.
When looking at the data and all the factors, Pye and some school board members, understood why they are keeping the hybrid model for now. But they say it is a tough decision and they don’t have all the right answers.
“I don’t know to do with this, I’m overwhelmed. I depend on 62 administrators that have the pulse of their faculties and their parents and communities, as we sit and talk repeatedly about what can we do,” Pye said.
Parents and teachers also have mixed reactions towards the district’s plans. Some parents showed up to support sending students back to school fully, 5 days a week.
“We’re tired of hearing the excuses as far as not allowing our children...not being given the choice of our children going back 5-days face to face,” parent Phillip Hall said. “Our children need and want to go back. They need to be in the classroom. They are falling behind further and further.”
Rachel Smith is the parent of a child with special needs, and she says her sons Individualized Education Plan is not working in the current model.
“He has regressed in his therapy outside of school [and] his behavior went down,” Smith said.
Other people spoke about the need to continue with the district’s original plan in hopes the district would not rush things.
Mary Rita Watson, a DD2 teacher, said many teachers and employees would not feel safe with more students coming back.
“We would love face to face but it just can’t happen. We are overcrowded, and if you try to take students and put them into those classes, it’s going to create unsafe situations,” she said.
District officials say they do have a plan to get more students back in the buildings once their disease activity rates go down.