SOUTH CAROLINA — South Carolina has led the way in reopening the economy and now attention is turning on how to conduct classes in the future.
On Thursday afternoon, education leaders from around the state with the new Accelerate Ed task force wrapped up a meeting to determine how to restart this summer, while also looking ahead to next school year.
State Superintendent Molly Spearman said every issue they discuss, has to do with two things -- health and safety.
“I believe we have the same two goals in mind, to protect children and our faculty their health and safety, and get our schools open as normal as possible,” she said.
The meeting focused on summer programs to help kids catch up. The programs could include in-person tutoring, but leaders are also recommending adding five school days to next year’s calendar for more instruction time.
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They also want funding to provide broadband for thousands of students who lack internet access at home.
There is also a plan for cleaning school buildings and they’re asking state lawmakers for funding for equipment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also issued guidelines for reopening schools in the fall.
The guidelines include:
- Meals in classrooms instead of cafeteria
- No field trips
- Desks 6 feet apart
- Student’s belongings separated
- Avoid sharing toys, books or electronic devices
- Keep same students together
- One student per seat on school bus/skip rows
- Stagger drop off/pick up times
Leaders discussed providing personal protection equipment for all teachers and staff and doing temperature checks.
School buses might be limited to 40 kids on a 80 seat bus. That would mean a huge overhaul of bus routes and schedules.
123 schools in South Carolina do not have a school nurse. Spearman says that has to change.
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