Georgetown Co. schools implement new health, safety guidelines

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 6:41 AM EDT
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Georgetown County students are returning to school with new health and safety guidelines in place.

Georgetown County School District Executive Director of Safety and Risk Management Alan Walters says some are related to COVID-19, but others do not.

As Georgetown County classes begin Wednesday, students will notice classrooms do not have plexiglass in place for the 2021-2022 school year. Walters says desks will be spaced three feet apart as much as possible, but Plexiglass will only be implemented upon parental request.

“Well certainly, we’re looking forward to five-day instruction and having as many students and staff back as possible because the concerns about academic learning loss during the pandemic,” Walters said. “The best way to overcome that is get everybody back in the classroom.”

Walters says masks are not only recommended, but strongly encouraged for anyone at school and on buses. He does however say they are not required.

The Georgetown County School District is focusing on other areas of safety this year as well, Walters says.

One of these areas is mental health. Walters says all student ID cards will now be printed with the national suicide hotline, and a number students can text if they want to talk to someone not affiliated with the school.

Walters says Georgetown County also newly offers the “STOP IT” app. It’s an anonymous reporting system where students can report any dangerous or uneasy situations going on.

The district has increased the use of behavior interventionists and counselors, which Walters says exemplifies their efforts to stop bullying.

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