Today at an 11 am press briefing Governor McMaster asked all public schools to submit a 5-day plan for families as well as a virtual plan to give families a choice between full 5-day school and virtual school. The reasons given included families needing to work, at-risk children’s needs, and academic needs.
Public school districts are required to submit their reopening plans by Friday. McMaster asked that Superintendent Molly Spearman only approve plans that include a full 5-day school plan.
Molly Spearman was not present at the press briefing.
Molly Spearman has issued a response:
Every South Carolina parent must be afforded the option to choose virtual learning or a face to face model for their child this school year. The pandemic has shown the vital importance of our public education system and the broad range of services beyond teaching it provides for our students every day. Our goal must be a return to five day a week in person instruction as safely and as soon as possible.
We cannot, however turn a blind eye to the health and safety of our students and staff when the spread of the virus in some of our communities is among the highest in the world. School leaders, in consultation with public health experts, are best positioned to determine how in-person operations should be carried out to fit the needs of their local communities. I remain committed to supporting them in this endeavor and will only approve those plans that offer high quality options and keep safety as their top priority.
This announcement was not an official mandate, and we are unsure right now whether it will be enforced.
For more information on the recommendations that have been issued by the Department of Education see our summary of their guidelines. For more information the plans Greenville County School have announced thus far see our summary of GCS Fall Plans.