WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC) - Colleton County Schools are back and in-person, five-days-a-week after state lawmakers passed a law requiring all schools to have a five-days-a-week in-person option.
School district officials say they were already going four-days-a-week and had plans to get back to five in the near future.
“We are grateful to the staff of Colleton County School District for their organization and ability to adjust learning models,” Board Member Sharon Witkin said. “Once all staff have the opportunity to be fully vaccinated – our last clinic is scheduled this Wednesday, April 28 – we know we will definitely be closer to a safer and more regular school year.”
Another board member, William Bowman, says having a virtual option is still important.
“It should always be an option, simply because all students don’t learn the same,” Bowman said. “Believe it or not for some students returning to school is a distraction to them absorbing the content given by teachers and having that virtual option for those students who are comfortable learning that way is a good thing.”
His son currently goes to high school virtually and Bowman says that’s not likely to change.
“We’re going to adjust, just like every other family is adjusting, to make sure he logs on and be in his classes and still get his work done. Virtual instruction, along the lines of responsibilities for students and parents, is no different,” Bowman said. “Him receiving instruction virtually is not a big deal because the responsibility of being a parent is still there.”
The Bowmans aren’t alone in their decision to say virtual. A survey sent to virtual families revealed around 60 percent of them want to continue to utilize the option.
“That number does not surprise me at all because you have parents who still have a negative outlook on the vaccines that are being offered,” Bowman said. “You have parents that still feel like it’s unsafe.”
In the Charleston County School District, a quarter of the student body is currently learning remotely and in Dorchester District Two, 32 percent are digital.
The Colleton County Virtual Academy has not released data on how many students are still enrolled after switch to five-days-a-week in-person learning.