Families in the district will have two options for their students at the start of the academic year: A five-day, traditional in-person school schedule option and a virtual schedule option. The in-person option includes safety measures for students and staff, including a mask requirement and social distancing protocols at schools and offices.
For the virtual option, the district has created its new District Five’s Flexible Innovative Virtual Education (FIVE) academy, which will include live classroom instruction with School District Five teachers, independent work and opportunities for students to participate in after-school extracurricular activities at their school. Transportation arrangements to participate in after-school extracurricular activities is the responsibility of the student or family choosing the FIVE virtual academy.
In addition to the traditional schedule option and virtual schedule option, the district could later consider a hybrid model, where students would attend in-person a few days per week and virtually other days. But such a model would require state Department of Education approval.
“The purpose of the plan is to provide information about the plan and the details that parents need to make informed decisions about their child’s educational experience this school year,” said Katrina Goggins, School District Five communications director. “We hope parents will weigh the benefits and differences between the choices, and we’ve attempted to make each choice a viable one for our families, so that they can choose the best option.”
Since schools closed in March, School District Five has planned for the return of students and staff, implementing safety protocols and partnering with agencies, organizations and individuals to create options for the 2020-21 school year. In June, the district created a webpage that includes information about the district’s school reentry subcommittees, the district’s planning process and related district news highlights. Several surveys have been provided to staff and parents, including a survey on LEAP days and one to parents gauging their interest in virtual options.
Some in-person instruction has already occurred in School District Five over the summer. District officials say summer school and academic recovery camps have allowed the district to “practice” social distancing in schools on a small scale and prepare for in-person instruction during the school year.
On Monday, July 13, the district shared an overview of its plans with its school board. On Wednesday, the district announced it would consider a change to the school year calendar, in accordance with an announcement by S.C. Governor Henry McMaster urging districts to consider starting schools after Labor Day. Any changes to School District Five’s calendar must be approved by the district’s Board of Trustees, and changes would be communicated with families.
School District Five has created an email address for question submissions regarding its 2020-21 school reentry plan. Questions can be submitted to [email protected].
Click here to see the district’s reentry plan or visit: www.lexrich5.org/20-21reentry. A text version of the plan is available on our website. Families can click the language translator on our site to read our reentry plan in different languages.