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Charleston, Dorchester Dist. 4, Williamsburg, and Georgetown County students return to school

Updated: Aug. 18, 2021 at 3:30 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Students from four Lowcountry school districts will start their new school year Wednesday morning.

Students in Charleston County, Dorchester County District 4, Williamsburg and Georgetown Counties all will have their first day of classes.

SPECIAL SECTION: Back to School

Charleston County School District

The Charleston County School District released its academic calendar. The school district has a mobile app available for parents. Click here to download the app to your mobile device. It is designed to give parents, students, and the community can find the latest news and information using their smartphones and mobile devices.

It has set a mask mandate for students. In a message sent to parents Tuesday afternoon, the district said its school board instructed staff to implement the mask requirement for staff, students and visitors inside school facilities until at least Oct. 15.

The district said masks are required “in all parts of the building, including classrooms, for students, staff, and visitors.”

Masks are also required on school buses.

“We expect everyone to comply with the mask requirement,” the message stated.

Dorchester District 4

DD4 released its academic calendar and a list of bus routes.

Parents can sign up to receive smartphone alerts for any changes or updates to their children’s bus routes.

A message on the district’s website says DD4 puts student and staff health as a top priority and says the district is “closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 situation.”

DD4 has not imposed a mask requirement.

“At this time, education in DD4 will be provided in a face-to-face format and the use of masks in school buildings is strongly encouraged,” the message states.

Williamsburg County School District

The Williamsburg County School District released its academic calendar.

There is no mask mandate for Williamsburg County students. In a letter to parents and students sent in July, the district says it will follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The letter states that all staff members are encouraged to wear personal protective equipment and all students will have access to reusable facemasks or face shields.

Parents/guardians may opt out of students wearing protective equipment.

Georgetown County School District

The Georgetown County School District released its academic calendar as well as its bus routes.

The district posted a list of frequently asked questions on its website. The Georgetown County School District has not implemented a mask mandate, but the website states “GCSD encourages students, staff and visitors to wear masks and will provide them upon request. This applies to all GCSD facilities and school buses.”

The site also states Plexiglass is available for students upon written requests by parents.

The fight over mask mandates continues

South Carolina Democrats called on the state Senate president and the House speaker to call a special session for lawmakers to give them the chance to repeal a temporary law, or proviso, passed with the state budget that prevents school districts from requiring face masks.

Charleston County has implemented a mandate despite that proviso.

South Carolina Education Superintendent Molly Spearman also called on lawmakers to repeal the proviso and urged parents to make sure their students are vaccinated if they are eligible to be and that they wear masks in the classroom.

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