Spearman to school districts: Offer more face-to-face learning in schools

South Carolina News

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina’s education leader is now urging school districts to prioritize a return to face-to-face instruction.

State Superintendent Molly Spearman sent a letter to district superintendents and school board members saying as the school year moves along, the focus must remain on ensuring students have every opportunity to be successful while maintaining safety in and outside classrooms amid the pandemic.

“While many students and their families have chosen virtual options and are able to successfully navigate this new instructional environment, others are struggling and desperately need a return to face to face learning as quickly as possible,” said Spearman.

That is why she is calling on districts to prioritize offering a return to face to face learning in as traditional a model as possible for those students who need it the most.

That includes students with disabilities, English learners, students who are homeless, in foster care, or group homes, students in kindergarten through fifth grades, students who are academically delayed, and those with poor or intermittent internet connectivity at home.

“These student populations encompass those who are learning the integral building blocks of their educational futures, including the fundamentals of reading, which simply cannot be taught well virtually as well as those that rely on our public school system for wrap-around and supplemental supports,” Spearman stated.

And while she said many have expressed concerns over the high rate of virus spread in some counties, which is defined by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, she said “we cannot make all operational decisions based on any one document.”

“Please also consider parental choice of face to face and virtual learning environments, faculty and staff availability, and personal protective equipment and supplies,” Spearman noted.

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