SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – On Monday, the Dorchester School District Two (DD2) held their first community input meeting to discuss reopening plans for the 2021 and 2022 school year and how best to spend federally funded money.

During Monday night’s meeting, officials discussed recent updates on guidance regarding mask wearing. Julie Kornahrens, a DD2 District Administrator, said “Dorchester District 2 will no longer require that face-coverings will be worn by students, staff, or visitors on district property or school buses.”

The announcement came the same day the American Academy of Pediatrics released updated guidance suggesting students over the age of two wear masks in classrooms even if vaccinated.

Other changes for the upcoming school year include updates to HVAC systems in older facilities, the re-opening of cafeterias, and plexiglass barriers no longer being required in classrooms. Instead, the barriers will be used based on the preference of the family or teacher.

Kornahrens clarified, “if a family chooses that they want their child to utilize it, or if we want to do smaller groups where social distancing cannot be maintained or if the teacher wants the barrier to be maintained at their desks.”

As for the survey issued by the district for use of federal funds allocated by the American Rescue Plan Act, both the district and the community agree that the biggest need is more educators.

Tina Meunier, the Chief Financial Officer says, “over and over and over what we heard was to hire more teachers to reduce class sizes. So we’ve really tried to do that to implement that for this upcoming year and these funds will be able to help us carry that into hopefully the next year and the next year as well.” 

As of now, the district says they are 20 teachers short of their goal.

If you were unable to make it on Monday, the next public input meeting will be on August 9th. 

For more on DD2, click here.