Breaking News: ECSD School Board Trustees Reject Governor’s Education Demands

Breaking News: ECSD School Board Trustees Reject Governor’s Education Demands

Pictured left to right: Dr. Carroll Wates, Robin Ball – Chairperson, Dr. Willie Campbell, Josh Black, Director of Instruction and Curriculum, Dr. Kevin O’Gorman, Superintendent, DeidraYoung. Not pictured, Blair Massey – Vice Chair and Johnny Peterson. Not in attendance, Chad Blackston.

By Arthur Northrop    

During the two past months, the leadership of ECSD developed a reopening plan. The district based its plan on the guidance of state and federal health officials and South Carolina’s Superintendent of Education, Molly Spearman. On Tuesday, July 14, South Carolina’s Governor, Henry McMaster demanded that all schools in South Carolina offer parents two options. One option allows students to stay home and receive on-line instruction and the other is for students to attend their school five days a week.  

The Edgefield County Board of Trustees at a special called meeting on Tuesday, July 7, opted to approve the plan developed by the district that does not meet the Governor’s demands. The plan the district developed is called a hybrid. The hybrid plan reduces the number of students in any school by at least fifty percent on any given day. Half a school’s students attend on Mondays and Thursdays and the other half attends on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Reducing the number of students at a school on any given day makes social distancing easier to do. ECSD surveyed parents and based its plan on the parents’ responses. Close to 2,000 parents responded to the survey. On the survey question asking if parents wanted their children to go to school five days a week or learn from home, 58.8% wanted five days a week of at school instruction. 41.2% choose remote, or learning from home. 

When the question was asked, if social distancing was not possible with all students going five days a week, would they choose remote learning (learning from home) or the hybrid, 72.2% choose the hybrid. The parents choosing the remote learning dropped to 27.8%. With the number of parents who are choosing the remote learning option, the actual percentage of students attending school each day could be less than 50% of a child’s class. 

The final word regarding the State’s Superintendent of Education and the Governor’s differences in plans and policies is to be decided by the South Carolina Assembly. The South Carolina assembly convenes for a special session on September 15, 2020. The special session is slated to begin after the state’s mandatory start date, which means all public and charter schools will have started the year before the General Assembly weighs in on how public schools are operating. 

This article is the first of continuous coverage of how private, public, and charter schools are responding to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Pictured left to right: Dr. Carroll Wates, Robin Ball – Chairperson, Dr. Willie Campbell, Josh Black, Director of Instruction and Curriculum, Dr. Kevin O’Gorman, Superintendent, DeidraYoung. Not pictured, Blair Massey – Vice Chair and Johnny Peterson. Not in attendance, Chad Blackston.

  

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