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Kershaw Co. schools say they have the Midlands’ only thermal temperature scans for students

Updated: Sep. 7, 2020 at 6:58 AM EDT
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KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - After a long weekend for the Labor Day holiday, Kershaw County families are now looking ahead to the start of the new school year on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Like many other school districts, there were a few different options for families to choose from in Kershaw County, including face-to-face instruction five days a week. With this option, elementary students will stay with what are called their classroom “families” for most of the day to minimize student interaction. Middle and high school students will have staggered start and end times to reduce student hallway traffic.

There are also two eCampus options. One where students participate in real time, and the other allows students to work more at their own pace.

For those heading back to the school building, everyone will have their temperatures checked on the way in using a device called Feevr. Kershaw County School officials say they’re the only district in the Midlands offering this thermal screening technology.

One Lugoff Elementary School teacher says her students will also notice several changes inside the classroom.

“One of the first things I know for kindergarten is we normally have tables where the students sit in groups of four to five and so those tables have been removed and now we have individual desks that are six feet apart. This year, we are going to have individual school supplies for each and every student. We’re also creating math manipulative boxes and reading tools for each student to have so they do not have to share materials this year,” said Lugoff Elementary kindergarten teacher, Amanda Hicks.

Class sizes will range between 10 and 14 students and everyone will be required to wear a mask. Many have been skeptical about whether this is truly possible with the younger students. Hicks says helping her kindergartners with this will be one of her first priorities once the school year begins.

“To teach them how to put on and to take off the mask properly. I’m also going to do lots of modeling and I’m going to have to use lots of praise and positive reinforcement in kindergarten with those masks and hopefully they will get the hang of it after a week or two,” said Hicks.

Lugoff Elementary School principal, Dr. Melissa Lloyd said, “It’s something we need to do in order to keep everyone safe. We want everybody to feel comfortable. We want them to be safe and at school we try to treat it like a family. So, we’re treating this as our family.”

Kershaw County had been categorized as a having “medium” COVID-19 activity up until last week when it was upgraded to now having “high” virus activity.

WIS-TV asked the district if this will change reopening plans, but was told they will continue with back-to-school plans, as is, for now and modify them as needed.

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