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Nearly 33% of Darlington virtual elementary students have missed around 10 days

Nearly 33% of Darlington virtual elementary students have missed around 10 days


DARLINGTON, S.C. – Nearly one-third of the elementary school students enrolled in the Darlington County Virtual Academy have missed around 10 days of school. 

Carla Jefferson, the district's virtual academy director, spoke to the board at a work session held Monday evening. 

She said that approximately 340 of the 1,033 elementary school students, or 32.91%, enrolled in the program had missed around 10 days of school, according to internal district calculations. 

However, she later added that this may not be legally true. Jefferson said the district's truancy staff has a difficult time determining how to classify a child who attends one online session but does not log on for the next session, which is where many of the absences come from.  

Jefferson's comments came after Tim Newman, superintendent for the district, asked the board to discuss what the virtual academy would look like for the 2021-2022 school year. Newman suggested that some restrictions needed to be placed on the students in the program to make sure that they have success if they're enrolled online. 

At the work session, the district also received its annual audit report (it received a clean opinion) and heard from Lamar High School Principal Marlon Thomas about the possibility of establishing a Project Lead the Way biomedical program at the school with the goal of turning Lamar into a health science magnet school. 

The board is expected to consider the proposal formally at its next regularly scheduled meeting. 

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Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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