Greenwood Co. School District 52 leaders discuss hybrid learning, parents weigh in

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GREENWOOD COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A difficult decision for Greenwood County School District 52 leaders has been met with some parental backlash. The superintendent there has been pushing for a hybrid schedule as data shows COVID-19 cases going up in the area. However, not everyone is on board.

An idea that has grown into a divided and emotional discussion, hybrid learning and school leaders in Greenwood County School District 52’s plan to return to that schedule.

“Our children have had a little over 31 days of face-to-face instruction in the last eight months so that concerns me, I think that’s lost time we can’t get back,” said Greenwood County School District 52 Parent, TJ Waters.

TJ Waters is one of the parents not in favor of that plan. He told 7 News, the hybrid schedule isn’t working for his children. He wants them attending school in-person, five days a week.

“They’ve had some problems especially with the virtual side of things. The assignments there, having technology problems, not being able to get in touch with the teacher because they have a lot of other duties as well,” Waters told us.

The reason behind school leaders wanting to make an adjustment to the schedule has to do with a decision the board made weeks ago about what to do when COVID-19 cases go up.

“The numbers hit 201 for an average of five days, I pulled the trigger to put us back on a hybrid schedule,” said Greenwood School District 52 Superintendent, Dr. Rex Ward.

Greenwood County School District 52 Superintendent, Dr. Rex Ward added he believes this is the right call.

“On a five day a week schedule, it’s hard for us to social distance six feet so the call was to go back to a hybrid schedule so we could follow the CDC guidelines and allow social distancing,” Dr. Ward said.

He is getting some support.

“We all want this to be over, we all want this to end but we are not there yet,” said Greenwood County School District 52 Legal Guardian, Becky Corbin.

“We as a whole in this state failed by opening up too soon and not being stricter when we needed it,” Greenwood Co. School District 52 Student, John McCarthy told us.

School board chairman, Jeff Chapman said in a special meeting Tuesday evening, it’s not an easy choice to make.

“There is no perfect plan on how to accomplish this because no one plans fits all school districts,” said Greenwood County School District 52 Board Chairman, Jeff Chapman.

Board members agreed to stay on a hybrid schedule until they get something submitted to the state department of education on a modified plan based on what surrounding districts are doing.

Something discussed between board leaders was studying what nearby school districts are doing and see if they can implement that into their second semester, which begins the second week of January. That would be exploring more options like a possible virtual and in-person route.

They will also be investigating how other districts determine when COVID-19 cases get to the point of being too high for in-person instruction and re-evaluating their current metrics.

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