Greenville Co. middle schoolers to start transition to full-time, in-person learning starting week of Nov. 23

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GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County Schools officials announced Monday that starting next week they will begin the process of having middle school students return to full-time in-person learning.

“After consulting with medical professionals from DHEC and Prisma Health and reviewing our internal metrics, we believe GCS students and staff are safer from COVID-19 while at school than they are outside of school. We also recognize that students perform better academically in a face-to-face setting,” according to the district’s news release.

According the release, the district has received updated guidance on the use of plexiglass panels in classrooms and DHEC officials said students wearing masks can sit 3-feet apart instead of 6-feet apart while separated by a plexiglass barrier.

“It’s important to understand that our decision to return middle school students to 5-day-a-week in-person instruction was not reached overnight,” according to the release. “Facilities personnel, including our on-staff architect, analyzed class rosters and classroom spaces at every middle school. These experts, with the help of principals and district administrators, designed a layout for every classroom. Some classes had to be moved to larger spaces, such as auditoriums and cafeterias, where safe social-distancing can occur.”

GCS officials said some class schedules have been altered to limit the number of students in the hallway at the same time and lunch will be eaten in the classrooms behind the plexiglass barriers.

“It is our hope that these and other protocols will lead to a safe and pleasant transition back to 5-day-a-week in-person instruction for middle school students and teachers,” according to the release.

The school district also said they are currently developing plans to increase the amount of in-person instruction for high school students, and said their plan is to increase high school in-person to at least 60 percent by the start of the second semester.

Middle schoolers will transition to full-time, in-person learning on the following schedule:

SIXTH GRADE:

  • Week of Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving Week): All color groups will attend in-person on Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 23-24)
  • Weeks of Nov. 30, Dec. 7, and Dec. 14: All color groups attend in-person Monday through Thursday, and sixth graders will observe eLearning on Friday (in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it begins Friday, Dec. 4. School will identify students and notify those parents whose child needs to be in attendance.)

SEVENTH GRADE:

  • Week of Nov. 30 – Attendance Plan 2 on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 (students attend by color group). All color groups attend in-person Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 2-3, and will observe eLearning on Fridays, plus in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it.
  • Weeks of Dec. 7 and Dec. 14: All color groups attend Monday through Thursday, and will observe eLearning on Fridays, plus in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it.

EIGHTH GRADE:

  • Week of Dec. 7: Attendance Plan 2 on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 7-8 (students attend by color group). All color groups attend in-person Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 9-10, and will observe eLearning on Fridays, plus in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it.
  • Week of Dec. 14: ALL color groups attend Monday through Thursday, and will observe eLearning on Fridays, plus in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it
  • Winter break: Student holiday (Monday, Dec. 21 through Friday, Jan. 1)

According to the release, sixth, seventh and eighth graders will attend in-person school, five days a week starting Jan. 4, 2021.

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