Safety Plan Revisions 2021-2022 School Year
At school, face-to-face instruction will resume Monday, August 23rd for all SDPC students not enrolled in virtual options. This will be our 15th day of school for 2021-2022. A safe, face-to-face environment is our primary goal as we demonstrated last year. SDPC had one of the highest number of days for in-person learning in the state and in the nation as referenced below. We would like to explain details of safety revisions below.
We learned in the first 9 days that we are dealing with a very different challenge than last year. The spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant has quickly engaged our community. Our safety practices last year, which included the use of masks and the use of 6 week windows or schedules, led to being in school more than most of the schools in the Upstate of South Carolina. As a result of the current health challenges in our communities, SDPC plans to monitor conditions closely and update our protocols every 3 weeks as we continue the 2021-22 school year.
To protect our students and to make sure we have a healthy workforce, these 3 week windows/schedules will be updated every three weeks as we continue to monitor community outbreaks of the virus. Knowing that we must have key personnel to operate school (including nurses, teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and School Resource Officers), it is vital for families to keep in mind that within any 3 week window, a school or grade level may revert to temporary virtual online learning if the well-being of students or employees is compromised.
This is our best attempt in scheduling a few weeks in advance as what is the reality today may not be the same in September. We will attempt to provide as much in-person instruction as possible during each 3 week window/schedule, however, the status of COVID-19 in our community may result in more temporary virtual learning.
- The items below are revisions and enhanced practices in addition to our Back-to-School Safety Overview
School Level Revisions
- Elementary - One cohort of students that can travel to related arts. Individual students that receive required services such as ESOL, GT, and SPED will be allowed to travel to these classes. Where applicable push in services for these classes will be scheduled.
- Secondary (Middle and High) - Maximum of 4 academic cohorts per day with the plans and readiness to move to 2 academic cohorts if needed.
- After school programs will maintain cohorts for exposure and contact tracing purposes along with social distancing of at least 3 feet.
- Students at all levels will eat as a cohort in the cafeteria or classroom. No mixing of classes at tables in the cafeteria.
- Transitions and Dismissal:
- Limit crossing and multiple classes in the halls at the same time whenever possible.
- Staggered dismissals at all school levels to avoid after school congregations and traffic in the hallway.
- Visitors and volunteers will continue to not be allowed in school buildings except for conferences, etc. that cannot be held virtually.
- SDPC strongly recommends that all students and staff wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Boxes of masks will be made available in easy to find locations for students and teachers.
- Communication - Staff and student positive and quarantine numbers will be posted daily instead of weekly on the district webpage (COVID Information Link).
- Virtual - Application process reopened for medically fragile students to move to PCVA if space is available
- 3 Week Windows - Three week windows for instruction will be announced to allow for adjustments in response to COVID cases.
- Continued community messaging of how they can help the district mitigate spread outside of school.
- Daily cleaning protocols will be completed everyday with specific attention to high touch areas.
- Electrostatic sprayer will be used in every classroom and area at least once a week.
- Disinfectant and cleaner available daily for teachers to spray areas during class changes.
- Classes will be spaced whenever and wherever possible at least 3 feet apart or more. Some classes may be spaced further if space allows.
- The District COVID Data team meets daily to analyze active COVID student and staff cases at each school to determine if a school or a class closure is needed. The team will consider DHEC recommendations including the number of positive cases and percentage of positive cases when making these decisions.
We have frequently been asked, “What can I do to help students stay in school?” Here are some thoughts:
- Consider vaccines if available and willing as we respect your individual choice,
- Consider protections like masks are very highly encouraged and were effective last year,
- If you have any sinus/colds/sickness stay HOME. We are finding many of these cases end up positive,
- Social Distance when and where possible,
- Consider limiting large indoor gatherings,
- Wash hands frequently,
- Encourage outside vs inside play or events,
- Practice good healthy habits of keeping your immune system up.
As mentioned in a previous communication, we remain committed to encouraging and protecting our students and employees in SDPC. The health of our community and the education of our students depend on your cooperation. We look forward to resuming school on Monday, August 23rd with our students in-person.