Orange Grove Elementary Charter students switch to virtual learning after positive COVID-19 case

Local News

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD) – Orange Grove Elementary Charter School students will move to at-home learning after a positive COVID-19 case was reported at the school this week.

School leaders tell News 2 a teacher, who instructs two classes at the school, tested positive for the virus. Students who attend the classes will have to quarantine.

Meanwhile, the teacher’s child, who also tested positive, attends the school’s employee daycare. 14 families there will also have to be quarantined.

Officials from the school say the teacher contracted the virus through her spouse who had a co-worker test positive for COVID-19.

With dozens of staff required to quarantine, Principal John Clendaniel says he has no option but to transition to virtual learning impacting six learning days. Parents were notified of the change early Thursday.

“We have the opportunity with the Thanksgiving break, kind of a gift of time where there is seven days where the building is going to be essentially closed anyway,” says Clendaniel. “So, we can maximize a 14-day quarantine for everyone.”

Clendaniel says the shift is out of an abundance with one family affected, Clendaniel believes the school’s cleaning procedures have worked so far.

“But I feel like the preventive measures that we’ve put in place already like that’s happening on a daily basis so we feel good about that process,” says Clendaniel.

Officials expect a smooth transition to virtual learning and say it could be a tool that lasts well beyond COVID-19 to minimize learning downtime.

“It kind of changes the game for when you think ahead like if we have a hurricane day, could we pivot and do virtual instruction, absolutely,” says Clendaniel.

Students will switch to virtual learning for two weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. They hope to have students return to in-class learning after the holiday break.

Orange Grove Charter Middle School will also switch to virtual learning through the holiday break.

So far, positive cases have been confined to the one family.

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