Pickens Co. school board to vote on delayed start, mask requirement

Local News

PICKENS CO., SC (WSPA) – The School District of Pickens County announced that the school board will vote on delaying the school year by one week and requiring masks for students.

According to the district, the school board will vote Tuesday on a new calendar for the 2020-2021 school year which would begin August 24.

The delay gives the district more time to implement safety plans, according to the Superintendent Danny Merck. The calendar includes 180 instructional days, holidays, and would end on June 4, 2021.

The school district will also introduce a mask requirement for students in 3rd through 12th grades when social distancing is not possible. Masks will be recommended for students of all ages.

“The decision to require masks was difficult, but necessary. State, local, and national health guidance has been unanimous in its support for masks as a key to stopping the spread of coronavirus,” said Merck. “This is a life-safety issue, and schools commonly require students to alter their behavior and clothing for much less serious considerations. SDPC will allow medical exemptions when approved by a physician, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

The district said the six-week plan for alternating face-to-face instruction and eLearning at the start of the year will remain in place.

Families have until noon on Wednesday to decide whether to enroll in Pickens County Virtual Academy which offers full-time online learning for students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

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