Charleston County School District offers third option for safe restart

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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – As students prepare to head back to the classroom this fall, the Charleston County School District introduced a third learning option – temporary remote instruction.

Under this option, students would learn at home with a teacher from their home school.

The Charleston County School District’s Chief Academic Officer, Karolyn Belcher, said teachers have been prepared to move forward with this option for at least the first quarter.

“40% of our parents didn’t respond to the survey; we do think there’s some ambiguity about whether some folks are comfortable coming back five days a week, or essentially something else,” she said. “Essentially, we’re going to offer an option for in-person out of the gate- and then we’re going to add temporary remote instruction with local teachers.”

The second option is in-person, which the district plans to do with 25% of students on day one, and the third option is the virtual academy, which you can sign up for through Friday.

“When we got the survey from parents last Wednesday, over 60% responded to the survey – over 64% want in-person instruction, 35% want virtual instruction, 1% said they don’t intend to enroll their children in the Charleston County School District,” said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait during a CCSD board meeting.

Dr. Postlewait said there would have to be a continuous decline in cases to send more students back to the classroom.

“You can see lines in the graph there, we are still above the DHEC-recommended rate to bring all children back in person- we are well above that recommended number that DHEC publishes,” she said.

She believes it is safe to start the school year with students in the classroom, but ultimately, that decision is up to the school board and parents.

The Charleston County School District plans to decide next week how to determine the 25% of students that will be in the classroom on the first day of school, which is currently slated for September 8th.

Meanwhile, Dr. Postlewait mentioned the possibility of furloughing employees, but said that would be a last resort.

If parents opt to go outside the district for private instruction, the district will miss out on federal dollars. That would then impact the operating budget and could mean too many teachers and not enough students.

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