COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Many state leaders, educators and district superintendents are trying to determine what the 2020 school year will look like for students and faculty.
Task forces have been created at both the state and local level to come up with suggestions and solutions to the problems that have come up as a result of coronavirus learning.
Lawmakers and the state Department of Education met Wednesday to discuss how to move students forward academically during this pandemic.
Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education, says “30% of instructional time has been missed.”
During the meeting, members of the COVID-19 Public Education Committee heard what school districts need from lawmakers to catch students up correctly.
“We need a lot of clarity on what is really essential to be learned along the way, so if we have a 5th grader or 8th grader who has missed mathematics,” said Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, Charleston County Superintendent.
The Department of Education wants students to have a formal academic assessment at the beginning of the school year. A social emotional assessment will also be done.
Technology and internet were also issues brought to the forefront.
Dr. Rose Wilder, Williamsburg County Superintendent said, “Should I say that 37-38% of our students do not have internet in their homes.”
The State Department of Education is still working to answer the big question on everyone’s mind, what will the 2020 school year look like?
Due to the different amount of students and size of buildings in each district, that answer could vary.
“Schedules to where 1/4 of the class would go to school on a certain day then another 1/4 on the next day and so forth,” said Tim Waller, Greenville County Schools.
“Our priority is to look at the kids who are most vulnerable of falling behind or who were already falling behind,” said Dr. Postlewait.
The state Department of Education is also working with DHEC to develop a clear policy on how school would handle if a student or teacher were to become ill during the year.
The department is currently working to finalize plans for summer reading camps. The superintendent is hoping to be accommodate 30,000 students, 25,000 with face to face instruction and the other 5,000 with virtual learning.