(Watch the full Back to School: Your Questions Answered special above.)
COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — With thousands of students in South Carolina heading back to school over the next few weeks, you might be wondering what the school year will be like for your child. We took your questions to State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and got you answers.
One parent we spoke with brought up concerns over a mask mandate ban state lawmakers put into place. She also expressed concerns surrounding the state’s teacher shortage and how that’s impact class sizes.
Superintendent Spearman said, “I know parents are concerned all of us are. Districts are prohibited from requiring mask that is a state law that was passed. But I want parents to understand there are many mitigation tools that can be used. One of the most important is hand washing, staying 3 feet apart, cleaning, contact tracing. All these things we’ll be doing that I hope will make our classrooms safe and make parents more comfortable.”
Pam, another parent, asked “if there are multiple cases among staff and students, can school districts re-evaluate their mask policy?”
Spearman said, “Districts right now are prohibited from requiring masks by a mandate that was passed by the state legislature. Whether that changes or not, the legislature changes their mind on that, that would be the prevailing factor there”
Bryan asked, “How are we going to assess performance after a year of remote learning?”
Superintendent Spearman said, “We will absolutely need to know where our students are so within the first 10 days of school. All students will be assessed with formative assessments. That will be done throughout the year. That gives us excellent data to know where the students are performing.”
Superintendent Spearman talked about vaccinations, mitigation tools and other back to school topics during a one-on-one interview Wednesday.
You can watch Superintendent Spearman answer more questions from parents below: