DHEC Approves GCS to Use Plexiglass in Place of 6-feet Distance

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Update 10/7/20: Greenville County Schools announces timetable to return all elementary students to 5-day instruction.

Greenville County Schools announced today that they are testing the viability of plexiglass dividers in classrooms to get kids back to in-person school.

“The dividers would allow up to four students wearing masks to sit at one table with only three-feet of social distance between them. Each cluster of students would be separated by six feet.”

DHEC has given initial approval of this solution and the school district is working with principals and facilities personnel to see if this is a solution for students getting back in the classroom.

Six Feet Barrier

Dr. Royster, the Superintendent of Greenville County Schools, said in a press conference last week that the possibility of students past second grade getting back into the classrooms is near impossible because of the six-feet of distance rule and smaller spaces.

“It would be nearly impossible to get students past second grade back to classes right now in the classroom space we have,” said Dr. Royster on September 23rd. “When we get up into the high schools and middle schools, getting any number larger than 17 into a regular class keeping six feet of space is nearly impossible.”

Photo Credit: GCS
Photo of plexiglass dividers being considered by GCS, photo credit: GCS

COVID+ Test?

What about the possibility of quarantine if one of the students in those smaller groups tests positive for COVID-19?

GCS states that “because of how these dividers are designed, if one child were to test positive for COVID-19, the other three who shared their table would not have to be quarantined so long as safety protocols were followed.

Next Steps

GCS is currently testing these dividers and is planning to make an announcement on their implementation by next Tuesday. They have also sent a survey to teachers to get their input on the idea.

We’ll update this story when we know more.

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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