CHRLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – As many area school districts, such as Dorchester District 2 and Berkeley County School District made the decision to switch to an all virtual schedule for the week after winter break, Charleston County School District (CCSD) returned to in-person classes on Monday.
While many are supportive of the idea, others feel it was the wrong choice citing the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Lowcountry and around the state.
According to Jeff Borowy, the Chief Operating Officer for CCSD, schools are following COVID-19 protocols exceptionally well and should be applauded.
“We’ve got a really good system in place,” said Borowy. “We use Thanksgiving break as a great example of how we handled a return.”
A few teachers, who wish to remain anonymous, shared some of their concerns with News 2 saying they don’t feel completely comfortable with the return so soon after many families travelled and spent time with family over the holidays.
One CCSD parent agrees with the teachers also saying that the district is not being as transparent as they claim to be.
“It’s really been quite shameful. I think that there is a huge lack of transparency. I felt as though the number of cases at one specific school that my children attend are really being swept under the rug,” said Julie. She wished to keep her last name anonymous.
This distrust of CCSD blossomed from conversations with other parents, who, according to Julie, are feeling a similar way, in addition to finding out that all three of her children were positive for COVID-19 during winter break.
“I had a child who was next to a positive case who sits with this child and I was told that my child was not considered a close contact,” said Julie.
After bringing these concerns to CCSD via more than a dozen emails over the break, Julie says she barely received a response noting that only one or two CCSD board members had been helpful.
Borowy says that all of the data reported to parents and on the CCSD COVID-19 Dashboard are accurate.
“We’re managing the dashboard,” said Borowy. “I’ve talked to communications about how to try and make that as clear as possible. It’ll clearly be transparent. All our data is going to be there. We’re not leaving out a single case that we’ve received.”
Julie says she hopes for more transparency and changes as the spring semester continues.
“Moving forward I hope to see change. I hope that people will continue to speak up. I hope that people will continue to support their teachers who are doing the best they can through this,” she said.
District leaders say they are willing to make adjustments to the in-person learning schedule if they see a spike in cases.