CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Education and political leaders came together Wednesday to discuss what it will look like when Charleston County School District (CCSD) schools reopen.
The meeting was an opportunity for the legislative delegation to hear CCSD’s safe restart plan before it’s set in stone. However, if the COVID-19 rates don’t change soon, in-person school won’t be an option at all:
“As you see from this small picture of the heat map, Charleston County COVID-19 rates at this current time are too high for us to consider opening schools.”Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, Superintendent CCSD
Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait says schools can’t safely reopen until Charleston County COVID-19 cases start dropping.
“The DHEC metric, would show that our daily [rate], it needs to be much lower than it is now, and it needs to be about 50% lower at this point, and we need to see a pattern of decreased infections over two weeks that we have not seen.”Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, Superintendent CCSD
The Charleston County legislative delegation had mixed feelings on the plan. Some, like Representative Wendell Gilliard, say virtual classes are the only option:
“So we have the medical experts and our teachers telling us, for the most part, ‘don’t do it.’ This is the perfect storm, ladies and gentleman, and for the love of the God, I don’t know why we want to put our children out there like that — and the dangers to teachers and parents.”Representative Wendell Gilliard
Others disagreed; state Senator Sandy Senn says she wants her own son back in the classroom:
“For my family at least, we are going to shoulder into this thing, because you can bring in all the counselors and stuff that you want, but the bottom line is for my son- and my youngest son is 15- he needs to be there in person.State Senator Sandy Senn
The plan still has to be reviewed for additional readings by the board. CCSD leadership says there is no playbook on how to open a school during a pandemic, and they are figuring it out as they go.