All Laurens County School District 55 students not attending the county’s Virtual Acdemy are to return to the physical classroom five days a week after the Thanksgiving break, Superintendent Ameca Thomas told the district’s board of trustees Monday.
Seventh, ninth and 10th graders have been on a hybrid schedule – a mix of face-to-face and virtual learning – since the beginning of the year. Other high schoolers and middle schoolers have been attending in-person classes four days per week, while elementary students have been in physical classrooms full-time.
Thomas said that the receipt of the final shipments of Plexiglas along with continued safety protocols regarding face masks and social distancing have allowed the return to face-to-face instruction despite the increase in cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina and in Laurens County.
In order to account for the impact of the virus, live streaming of classes will continue for students who may be in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. LCSD 55 will still need to plan for the influx of additional students as approximately 770 students currently attending LCVA, which includes students from District 55 and District 56, have indicated they will move back to face-to-face instruction in the second semester. Approximately 950 students have indicated they plan on staying online with LCVA through the second semester.
District 56 last week suspended in-person classes at Clinton High and Clinton Middle schools due to a high number of quarantines at both schools. In-person classes are to resume after the Thanksgiving break.
Thomas also announced the availability of additional tutoring services beginning Nov. 30. These services are being paid for with CARES funding and students will not have to pay for any tutoring services. Parents may contact their child’s school for more information on the days and times for these additional services on each campus. In addition, District 55 has 644 available spots through the ENGAGE program for the provision of academic coaches for individual students who may be identified as at risk due to chronic absenteeism or other factors.
Parents may also request tutoring services from an academic coach for their child. Parent requests would be honored as an addition to the 644 available spots.