Kershaw Co. Schools provide meals to students, continue instruction with E-learning program

Kershaw Co. Schools provide meals to students, continue instruction with E-learning program

ELGIN, S.C. (WIS) - Kershaw County schools are working hard to make sure students are fed and able to continue learning during these two weeks of school closures due to COVID-19.

The district was one of the first ordered to close by Gov. Henry McMaster last Friday.

Monday, cafeteria workers at Blaney Elementary School delivered meals to students in a drive-thru outside the school, as dozens of parents stopped by to pick up bagged lunches for their kids.

Mary Anne Byrd, Community Relations Executive Director for the school district, said staff have been resilient and have risen to the occasion.

“I heard right off the bat -- what about families who need food, and so we said, ‘We can do this,’” Byrd explained.

This week, cafeteria staff will prepare food at Blaney Elementary, Bethune Elementary, North Central Middle and Camden High School for students ages 18 and under.

Parents are grateful for the district’s support.

“It does put a strain on you financially, and you begin to worry, ‘What bill am I going to pay or what lunch am I going to buy today?’ So it feels really really good," Keena Stewart, a mother of five children, said.

The school district is also making sure learning doesn’t stop just because schools are closed.

Allison Burnham, a fifth-grade teacher at Blaney Elementary, spent her Monday morning chatting with students online.

“I told them I missed their faces and they said I miss you too," she said.

She’s assigned two-and-a-half hours worth of work a day for her students to keep their skills sharp.

Kershaw County is one of 15 pilot E-learning school districts in South Carolina.

“It’s something that we’ve done and practiced several times before, so it’s nice to have that already in place,” Byrd said. “We’ve got the devices, we’ve got the infrastructure.”

Students will participate in the E-learning program this week, and next week teachers will have the week to lesson plan. The following week is Spring Break.

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The State Department of Education has asked that all standardized testing for the year be postponed.

All Kershaw County schools were thoroughly cleaned over the past week, and students are able to come pick up any materials they may need, such as books or medications, on Wednesday. That is when teachers are also able to return to their classrooms to lesson plan.

The Kershaw County School District is also working on a plan to potentially deliver lunches to students next week.

Right now, the school district also has buses equipped with WiFi across the county, so students without internet access can still complete online assignments.

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