25 more school district reopening plans approved by Dept. of Education

25 more school district reopening plans approved by Dept. of Education
Nine of those are districts in the Midlands. (Source: WBRC)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Department of Education and State Superintendent Molly Spearman have approved the reopening plans of 25 more public school districts.

Nine of those are districts in the Midlands.

“We are committed to ensuring that the safety needs of every school is being met in preparation for reopening,” Spearman said. “Every citizen can help in this effort by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing their hands regularly, and staying at home when sick.”

The 25 districts whose reopening plans were approved Thursday are (Midlands schools marked in bold):

  • Abbeville County School District
  • Aiken County Public School District
  • Beaufort County School District
  • Calhoun County Public Schools
  • Darlington County School District
  • Edgefield County School District
  • The School District of Greenville County
  • Greenwood School District 50
  • Hampton School District One 
  • Kershaw County School District
  • Lancaster County School District
  • Laurens County School District 56
  • Lexington County School District One
  • Lexington County School District Two
  • Lexington County School District Three
  • Lexington School District Four
  • School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties
  • School District of Newberry County 
  • School District of Oconee County
  • Orangeburg County School District
  • School District of Pickens County
  • Williamsburg County School District
  • York School District 1
  • Rock Hill School District Three (York 3)
  • Fort Mill School District (York 4)

The Department of Education says it’s still reviewing the remaining plans for schools across the state.

It previously approved six other school districts’ plans, including Saluda County Schools.

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.

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