Latest surge in Covid-19 cases across the state returns old problems for school districts, we are just a week away from the new school year

The latest surge in new Covid-19 cases across the state surfaced the old issues for the school districts and no one really knows how the schools will organize the in-person studying.

The upcoming school year already looks much different of what everyone expected. And we are just a week away from the very start.

The issue is much bigger of what it looks first-hand. The school district officials are facing heavy pressure of how they will maintain the current Covid-19 situation, while parents fear who will take care of their children if they continue to learn online or if they will have to go in quarantine.

Masks for students, teachers and staff are strongly encouraged, but South Carolina is among the states that doesn’t require them.

“We are in a different place with COVID than we thought we would be,” says Charleston County School District Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait.

The schools are offered plexiglass, they will require everyone involved in the process to practice social distancing and in case of a positive cases, medical officials will trace contacts.

“We know 3 ft. of space between desks is sufficient, and parents will have the option if their children wear masks, but we certainly strongly recommend wearing masks,” says Postlewait.

Masks are required in the nurse’s office, on buses and in athletic trainer facilities.

The school year already began in some states and many positive cases among students were confirmed in a matter of days. If the same thing happens in the Charleston County School District, CCSD can shut down classrooms and schools just like it did last year.

“We will likely have to shut some down. We just need to be realistic. COVID is going to be with us for a while. We will use every tool at our disposal but it’s our job to serve children safely and effectively,” says Postlewait.

Meanwhile, the CCSD is looking forward to open the school year as planned with all the safety protocols in place.

“We will not get complacent,” Postlewait says. “We will not relax all of the other protocols and we will monitor the data very closely, and if we feel some other action is necessary, our board will gather to discuss.”

But be prepared: If your child is quarantined, the district says they are not asking teachers to teach virtually and in-person at the same time this year. It’s one or the other. So unless the whole class is out your child will work independently until returning to the classroom.

Cindy Carey


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