GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Starting Monday, South Carolina schools will be taking another step towards life on the other side of this global pandemic after a bill was signed into law, requiring schools to give all students the option to be back fully in-person.
Empty hallways, learning through a computer and plexiglass separating students were all hurdles schools had to jump over during the pandemic.
“It was something that we anticipated because we are in a pandemic and it caused a little bit of angst in the beginning,” Wade Hampton High School Principal Dr. Carlos Grant said.
“Most classrooms were structured in pod structures with plexiglass to allow students to sit in groups of four,” Dr. Grant said.
Governor Henry McMaster signed a bill into law, saying every school must have an option for students to be back fully in-person five days a week.
“Getting back to 100% is something that we’re excited about,” Dr. Grant said. “It’s taken a lot of work to get to this level, but we’re fully prepared. We’re really eager to see our students, have them, and give them the opportunity and the option to be back here five days a week.”
Now, in Greenville County, there will be less Zoom meetings, no more plexiglass and those desks that were once moved a part will be close again.
“It gets us back to some sense of normalcy. It certainly allows for more consistency when it comes to instructional delivery,” Dr. Grant said.
Dr. Grant said he’s breathing a sigh of relief. He said it’s not just that Wade Hampton’s interior will be back to normal, but the heart of the school, the people that walk the halls every day, will be together again.
“While academics is important. it’s way more important to have those connections with students, to know their name, their family’s name, and us as colleagues to know each other and rely on each other. So, that family atmosphere and culture is so important, and going to 100% makes that opportunity even much more greater,” Dr. Grant said.
It is important to note students have the option to choose a 75% in-person attendance plan for those who do not want to attend class in-person five days a week.
Additionally, those enrolled in the full-time virtual program will not have the option to switch to full-time, in-person learning.