DARLINGTON, S.C. — The South Carolina Department has approved the reopening plans of two Pee Dee school districts.
The South Carolina Department of Education announced Thursday that it had approved the plans of Darlington and Williamsburg County districts.
"School district leaders, working alongside their local communities, continue to put forward high quality options for parents that take into account the academic and social needs of students along with the safety precautions and protocols required in the current pandemic environment," State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. "On the state level, we are committed to ensuring that the safety needs of every school is being met in preparation for reopening. Every citizen can help in this effort by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing their hands regularly, and staying at home when sick."
The plans of Darlington and Williamsburg are among 31 of the 85 school districts in the state to receive approval of the state department.
The others are Abbeville County School District, Allendale County School District, Aiken County Public School District, Anderson School District Five, Beaufort County School District, Berkeley County School District, Calhoun County Public Schools, Edgefield County School District, The School District of Greenville County, Greenwood School District 50, Hampton School District One, Kershaw County School District, Lancaster County School District, Laurens County School District 56, Lexington County School District One, Lexington County School District Two, Lexington County School District Three, Lexington School District Four, School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties, School District of Newberry County, School District of Oconee County, Orangeburg County School District, School District of Pickens County, Saluda County Schools, Spartanburg County School District Two, York School District 1, Clover School District (York Two), Rock Hill School District Three (York 3), and Fort Mill School District (York 4).
In order to be approved school districts must meet key criteria set by the SCDE. These criteria include —offering both a virtual and face to face option, a time frame to review operational plans to move towards full five day face-to-face instruction model, and the establishment of how high-quality instruction and a broad range of student services will be provided.
Darlington County's plan includes options for five-day in person instruction and online instruction.
Unlike the emergency remote learning that was required during COVID-19 school closures, students participating in virtual options will have a daily instructional schedule, receive frequent teacher feedback, and face high standards for earning passing grades.
Plans for districts to be reopened had to be submitted to the state department by mid-July.