Increased Covid-19 cases, employees in quarantine could lead Greenville County Schools to revert to 100% eLearning


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- Though some Greenville County Schools students are heading back to school five days a week, all the district’s students could soon be back online if the number of Covid-19 cases doesn’t stabilize, the school district announced Thursday.

A spokesperson with the school district said want kids to have the option to learn in the classroom, but they’re preparing for a worst case scenario. Earlier this week, teachers were told to prepare eLearning lessons as a fallback.

Greenville County resident Molly Tipple said her daughter was told to bring her books home just in case.

“They did go ahead and send their stuff home when the notice did come out,” Tipple said.

Tipple said she’s glad her 2nd grader and kindergartener are back in the classroom, but she said she too has been bracing herself for the worst.

“I have not been able to go back to work full time just because my concern is I’m going to get a job, and then they will go ahead and go virtual again,” she said.

According to the district, the risk of catching the virus at a school is about half the rate of catching it in the community as a whole.

But in a press release issued Thursday, the district said they’re seeing an increase in teachers having to quarantine– now up to an average of 150 a day. A shortage of substitutes makes it worse.

“We lost a bunch of substitute teachers at the end of last year when Covid happened,” said Tim Waller, who is the district’s director of media relations. “You know it was a scary thing for everyone.”

According to the district, the lack of subs coupled with too many employees in quarantine could force them to bring back 100% eLearning. The announcement comes just as middle schoolers are preparing to go back to five days a week in person learning next week.

“If the families and people outside of the school aren’t doing what they need to do, then it’s just going to continue,” Tipple said.

According to Waller, the district will have to look to DHEC for guidance on how Gov. Henry McMaster’s announcement Thursday about bringing rapid tests to schools will work.

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