CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More students in Berkeley County are set to return to schools next month only to find they may still be learning virtually inside a classroom.
This has also become an option for classes with teachers who are quarantined at home due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure.
As of Monday, the Berkeley County School District is reporting 97 staff members and 141 students have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
To keep students engaged and learning during this time, some teachers, like at Westview Elementary School, are going virtual to continue their lesson plans while they are quarantined at home.
“It’s a strategy we’re using across the district to continue offering high quality instruction even during times of quarantine,” BCSD spokesperson Katie Tanner said. “If a teacher is on a mandatory quarantine because they have a positive test or they are a close contact of someone with a positive test, they are offered the opportunity to continue instructing students virtually from home. But we also allow the students to come to school, and they are able to put someone in the classroom for supervision while the teacher continues to offer that high-quality instruction even during that quarantine period.”
Each school may be handling these situations differently depending on their capacity, layout and other factors.
At Cane Bay Middle School, more students are changing their learning pathways and returning to classrooms next month. This has forced school leaders to get creative to keep kids socially distant while they learn.
“They have to consider the accommodations teachers have been granted such as limited in-person instruction and how many students can be in a classroom. They also were considering limited transitions, so students not being in the hallway and transitioning classrooms as much. They’ve also reduced their floaters,” Tanner said.
Because of those factors and social distancing guidelines, space has become limited for returning students to be face to face with their teachers.
“It’s going to be difficult for some students who wish to return to schools. They can return to the school. She [the principal] has created a space for those students. She will have supervision for those students, but they are not yet able to go in their classroom with their teacher,” Tanner said.
Cane Bay middle has an internal waiting list for face to face instruction that allows students to move back in front of their teachers if another student decides to transition to blended distance learning.