State superintendent approves Saluda County Schools’ reopening plan among 5 other districts

State superintendent approves Saluda County Schools’ reopening plan among 5 other districts
Spearman outlined the four criteria districts must meet to have their plans approved. (Source: KSLA News 12)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - State superintendent Molly Spearman said she has approved reopening plans from six school districts across the state.

One of those, Saluda County Schools, is in the WIS viewing area.

The others that got approved are:

  • Allendale County School District
  • Anderson School District Five
  • Berkeley County School District
  • Spartanburg County School District Two
  • Clover School District (York Two)

Saluda County is offering a hybrid option and a fully-virtual option “with strong communication procedures with students and families to ensure they stay on track,” Spearman said.

She added the district has a framework for helping special populations, such as students with disabilities and English language learners.

“Our goal is for every school to return to five day face-to-face instruction as quickly as safety conditions allow,” Spearman said. “South Carolinians can support their neighborhood school by wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing, washing their hands regularly, and staying at home when sick. These precautions have the potential to significantly expedite our education system’s return to normalcy.”

Spearman said for a district’s plan to be approved, it must meet the following criteria:

1. A virtual option for all students

  • Districts may choose to deliver their own virtual program, take advantage of VirtualSC, suggest enrollment in one of the public charter virtual schools, or contract the service.
  • Districts must ensure that any virtual model includes at least an initial in-person contact with students. Intermittent face-to-face contact with students is also strongly encouraged.

2. An in-person option for all students

  • Hybrid/blended learning models will be considered an in-person option for students.
  • If a five day a week face-to-face instruction model can be safely offered, districts are encourage to do so; however, it is not required for plan approval.

3. A time-frame for when districts intend to review operational plans so that implementation of a full face-to-face instruction model can be worked towards as health and safety conditions improve.

4. Establish how high quality instruction will be provided, regardless of instructional model, and demonstrate how a broad range of student services will be provided. This includes ensuring all federal and state law requirements are met.

As of Monday, the Department of Education has received plans from 73 school districts across the state. Eight districts have been granted an extension.

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