Greenville County School District plan approved with caveat

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman has approved 25 more school districts plans for reopening, including the Greenville County School District’s.

Approval for the Greenville County School District’s plan and several others is contingent on offering an in person learning option no later than September 14, but that could change depending on the virus.

The Greenville County School District’s plan allows families to choose between a virtual program, which nearly a third of families have, and in-person learning. How often students actually make it back in the classroom depends on the spread of Covid-19.

“We now know that even with a high rating of Covid-19, it could also be possible to have one, perhaps two days, of in person attendance,” said Tim Waller, who is the district’s director of media relations.

Phillip Watts said his family has chosen virtual for their young kids.

“I think that no one wants to make the wrong decision, and everybody’s kind of pushing somebody else in the blame of it, whether they agree with the governor or don’t or agree with the superintendent or don’t…there’s no right decision,” Watts said. “The decision is going to be what’s best for your family.”

Spearman has approved the Greenville County School District’s plan but with a caveat– that in-person learning be available by September 14.

“No one has a crystal ball to be able to predict what the Covid-19 spread rate will be by September 14,” Waller said. “It’s wishful thinking to believe the conditions will be right to have students back in school.”

A spokesperson from the South Carolina Department of Education said a change in the virus’ impact between now and the start of school would change plans’ approvals.

“We’ve received no indication that anyone is pulling any approval,” Waller said. “I reached out to the state Department of Education today, and I said, ‘what if Covid-19 is so bad that all health and medical professionals are saying that in person school is ill advised?’ A spokesman from the state Department of Education said in that event, they would re-evaluate this date of September 14.”

The superintendent of the Greenville County School District said they they plan to release the details for the first day of school on August 24 by August 10.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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