Dorchester Dist. 2 students to return to virtual learning as COVID-19 cases rise

VIDEO: Dorchester Dist. 2 students to return to virtual learning as COVID-19 cases rise

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Students of Dorchester County School District 2 schools will resume eLearning after the holiday break, district officials confirmed Monday night.

District spokesperson Pat Raynor said students will return to virtual learning on Jan. 4 for at least two weeks.

District officials brought up the recommendation during Monday night’s school board meeting, gaining most of the board’s support.

“This thing is crazy, and we don’t know how to handle it, so therefore we have got to air on the side of safety and that means do whatever we have to do to keep every one of you safe,” board member Gail Hughes said in the meeting.

Many teachers spoke up against any consideration for full face-to-face learning. They said it was simply not safe enough to do that.

Some parents also spoke in support of going face-to-face, saying the current model is not working for their children.

While the school board does not make the decision about what instructional model the district would recommend, they can choose whether they will support that decision. School board members could have made a motion to change the instructional model.

Students in the virtual academy will continue with their online learning schedules.

The district hopes to return to its hybrid model on Jan. 19, based on the disease activity at that time, and continue with the model until, Feb. 1, the end of the first semester.

The decision came the same day the United States topped 300,000 deaths and as the first vaccinations began nationwide. The death toll in South Carolina, as of Monday, stands at 4,398 confirmed deaths and 353 probable deaths from COVID-19.

In Dorchester County, the total number of positive cases edged toward the 6,000 mark, while the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reported a total of 107 confirmed deaths in the county.

Lowcountry hospital systems began announcing their plans for vaccinating their medical staffs and some South Carolina hospitals began vaccinations Monday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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