Families with children in the Charleston County School District are discussing the district’s freshly released re-opening plan for fall. The district shared its first draft of the return to in-person instruction plan Tuesday night.
“We are very optimistic about the upcoming school year,” said Jessica Patterson, whose son is a rising 9th grader in the district. “We’re very, very hopeful that things will get back to what we consider normal.”
According to Live5 News, the district is expecting 95 percent of students to be full-time and in-person for the 2021-2022 school year.
These students can expect to see precautions like Plexiglass dividers in classrooms, limitations on visitors to the school and twice-daily cleaning of "high touch" areas.
Patterson, as well as other parents like Tara Wood, said they’re happy about with extra sanitizing and upgraded air filtration systems, but Wood and Patterson told Live 5 they do not like the idea of social distancing or Plexiglass dividers.
“I think social distancing is ridiculous,” Wood said. “Plexiglass, I mean that’s awkward. When I say go back to normal, I mean go back to normal.”
The district’s first-draft plan shows that the issue of masks has not yet been decided and will instead be announced at the beginning of the school year after consulting with parents, staff, add stakeholders, as well as officials with DHEC, the CDC and MUSC.
Patterson’s son Joe will head to James Island Charter High School next year. He told Live5 News he’s keeping his fingers crossed students won’t have to wear masks.
“I hope there are no more COVID regulations, no more masks, no more staying 6 feet away from people, he said.
CCSD’s “Safe Return” plan will be reviewed every six months until September 2023.
According to the S.C. Department of Education, school districts are required to send their reopening plan to the state and also post it online by June 24. As of Tuesday afternoon, the state had received plans from about 24 districts, out of the 81 total districts across the state.
In other news, the S.C Department of Education is planning to shut down service to hotspots over the summer. According to Live5 News, the plans call for the department to
shut down district-issued hotspots unless they are needed for summer school or summer camps. In those cases, the hotspots can remain active if the districts notify the education department.
Districts that do not plan to take part in the hotspot program next year are being asked to notify the agency so the devices can be permanently disconnected.
Districts that plan to reactivate lines for the next school year are also being asked to notify the education department.
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