The S.C. Department of Education approved six school district reopening plans on Monday while announcing that riders of state-owned school buses will be required to wear face masks.
The district plans approved by S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman are from Allendale County School District; Anderson School District Five; Berkeley County School District; Saluda County Schools; Spartanburg County School District Two; and Clover School District (York Two).
The state education department has received 73 opening plans and is awaiting plans from eight districts granted extensions, according to a news release. Detailed information regarding approved plans is available online.
“The plans approved today offer parents high-quality, innovative face-to-face and virtual options while keeping student and staff safety as their top priority,” Spearman said in the release. “I commend these school communities for considering the latest scientific data and guidance along with the academic, social and emotional needs of students to make localized decisions. Our goal is for every school to return to five day, face-to-face instruction as quickly as safety conditions allow.”
To receive approval, district plans must meet criteria including offering both a virtual and face-to-face instruction option, a time frame for reaching five-day face-to-face instruction, and a plan for providing high-quality instruction and a broad range of student services.
Students participating in virtual instruction will have a daily schedule, receive frequent teacher feedback, and must meet high standards to earn passing grades.
The statewide face mask requirement applies to all school bus riders, including students, drivers and staff, according to the release. The state education department and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control “expect and strongly encourage” all students and staff to wear face masks within school buildings, according to the release.