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LR5 community voices COVID concerns at board meeting

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:00 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 11:56 PM EDT
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IRMO, S.C. (WIS) - For the first time in three weeks, board members in Lexington-School District Five gathered to update the public as COVID-19 is still spreading throughout our state.

According to the school district’s COVID-19 Dashboard, every school in the district remains at a “level four mitigation”, which is one level below the worst category.

That’s where schools would be required to close and students would move to virtual learning.

“For a healthy student to be sitting at home and they get packets or whatever, in some cases we are basically asking to students to teach themselves,” said a parent at the meeting.

DHEC recently issued guidance that says that schools should go virtual if 30% of students are out of class due to testing positive for COVID-19 or quarantining due to exposure.

RELATED STORY | DHEC releases new guidelines for when schools should switch to virtual learning

Interim superintendent Dr. Akil Ross says LR5 isn’t going to base that decision to go virtual strictly on a number, but rather work with the school’s principal to come up with a plan.

“In order for us to continue to do well in this district you have got to talk to our teachers, don’t listen to a sensationalized information about what people think is going on in our classrooms, come into our classrooms and see what is happening,” said one district teacher.

As of right now, the biggest impact in the district is at Nursery Road Elementary School with 126 students and seven staff members either sick or quarantined.

Ross touched on the situation at Nursery Road Elementary which currently sits just under that 30% mark, saying the district made the right decision to hold off on going virtual.

Adding that many of their 4th-grade students are expected to return to school soon causing that percentage to go down and attributing a large number of their cases to Nursery Road’s pod system.

Parents and teachers at the meeting called for action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms, some simply saying the school leaders need to do more.

“This district could be doing more and should be doing more than we were a year ago,” said a parent.

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