Laurens, S.C. – Laurens County School District 55 announced Wednesday evening that three of the district’s schools will transition to virtual learning beginning Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, and continuing through Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. The campuses affected include Gray Court-Owings School, Hickory Tavern School, and Laurens District 55 High School. Students at the district’s remaining six schools will continue with their normal face-to-face schedule unless otherwise notified.
District 55 Superintendent Ameca Thomas said that this decision was made after careful consideration, consulting with SCDHEC, and closely monitoring the numbers of positive cases of COVID and required quarantines.
“With the current numbers and these campuses facing insufficient staffing, we are not able to operate safely at these locations,” said Thomas. “We are hopeful that this action will provide relief to the schools that are experiencing high transmission rates and allow time for the majority of the staff to return.”
Current numbers may be found on the COVID dashboard located at www.laurens55.org. According to DHEC, 671 students across the district had tested positive or are quarantined.
Students will receive live instruction via Google Classroom if their teacher(s) are able to do so. For those teachers who are not able to teach due to being ill, student assignments will be posted.
“Every effort is being made to ensure that our students continue learning during this time,” Thomas said.
Students at the three impacted schools will receive bagged meals on Thursday that will include food for three days.
“We remain committed to the safety and well-being of our students and staff. Deep cleaning will take place in the schools while the buildings are vacant,” Thomas said.
With the very high community spread rate in Laurens County, citizens are encouraged to follow the safety guidelines outlined by health care professionals. District officials stated that students and staff who are out of school for isolation or quarantine should not attend any school activities or events until the isolation or quarantine period has ended.