State superintendent says DOE plans on approving school district reopening plans soon

State Superintendent of Education says they plan on approving district reopening plans soon

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman told South Carolina lawmakers the State Department of Education will approve hybrid plans for the start of the school year.

They’ll also approve plans from school districts that include five-day in-person instruction.

A week ago, Gov. Henry McMaster requested Spearman only approve plans that included five-day in-person instruction and a virtual option for parents not ready to send their children to school.

But for Spearman, that’s not a requirement.

“I’m not using five-days a week as criteria,” she said. “There will be some five-day plans approved, but there will be other hybrid plans as well.”

She also said school districts planning on fully-virtual instruction will have to send their students to school a few times so they could have face-to-face interaction with teachers.

Watch Spearman’s exclusive, extended interview from July 22 on WIS News 10 (story continues below):

SC state superintendent on school reopenings

LIVE: State Superintendent Molly Spearman has granted WIS an extended interview on school reopenings. (NOTE: If you see black, we are in a commercial break, hang tight!) MORE >> https://bit.ly/30HbPQY Get the earliest breaking news alerts on your phone with the WIS 10 News app >> http://bit.ly/2Zz44uF

Posted by WIS TV on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

According to Spearman, her team will take a look at safety, how attendance is being taken, and how school districts can modify their plans as the school year progresses.

As of Wednesday morning, they have not approved any school district plans.

The Department of Education said it has received plans from 53 school districts. The other 28 school districts will be submitting their plans soon.

Spearman testified before the House Education Committee for two hours Wednesday. They discussed many issues like reopenings, the students they haven't been in contact with since the pandemic forced schools to close and funding.

LIVE: Superintendent Molly Spearman to discuss more school reopening plans for SC ahead of House Education committee >> https://bit.ly/3fMnlAW Get the earliest breaking news alerts on your phone with the WIS 10 News app >> http://bit.ly/2Zz44uF

Posted by WIS TV on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

“The number one need is going to be that continued support for the safety paraphernalia -- masks, cleaning supplies all those things we’d need to make sure our environment is safe,” she said.

Spearman also said they are finalizing their transportation plan for school buses. She said she is considering a mask requirement on South Carolina school buses.

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