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Posts Tagged ‘Schools’

The Best Towns to Live Near Greenville, SC in 2023

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Are you thinking of moving to the towns and suburbs that surround Greenville, SC? Greenville is a beautiful, family-friendly city nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city has topped lists all over the country as one of the best places to live and people are taking notice! Greenville was named the fourth-fastest growing city in 2017 at nearly six percent. Since then, the area has continued to grow rapidly as job opportunities increase and development expands. There is much more to Greenville than the downtown area, with several small towns surrounding the city that offer an abundance of charm, plenty of shopping, family-friendly activities, and wonderful neighborhoods to raise a family.


Why Choose Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC?

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Thank you to Christ Church Episcopal School for supporting Kidding Around Greenville by sponsoring this article! To learn more about the how advertising helps make Kidding Around Greenville possible please click here

The Greenville area is home to many excellent schools and parents truly have an array of educational institutions they can choose from to meet their child’s needs. But it can be overwhelming to say the least and as a parent, how do you know if you’ve made the right decision in the end?


There is one school that stands out for its exceptional curriculum which aims to fulfill the needs of every student and seeks to gives them the necessary skills to excel in the classrooms, on their sports team and in their community. If you are looking around for a great school where your child is given every opportunity to fulfill their potential, from pre-K through 12th grade, take a good look at Christ Church Episcopal School (CCES).


15+ Foolproof Gifts for Teachers: Plus Dos and Don’ts Tips

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Looking for a teacher gift idea? It can be tricky trying to find gifts teachers love that are within your budget – especially when you are buying for multiple teachers! What do you give your child’s favorite teacher this school year? How about that high school teacher who helped your kid get through that big math test? What about that tote bag, teacher mug, or school supplies? Will one of those make a great gift?

We asked our readers for some advice. Local teachers chimed in with their favorite gifts. Whether you’re looking for a holiday gift, something for teacher appreciation week, or an end-of-the-school-year celebration gift, our readers came through with some thoughtful gifts and great ideas.

Gifts for Teachers

In a Hurry? Just Want to Buy Your Child’s Teacher an Awesome Gift and Skip the Reading?
Choose one of these gifts, add to cart, purchase, and then cross one thing off your to-do list! YAY!

Coffee Gifts For Teachers
Homemade Gift Kits to Make for Teachers
Christmas Ornaments for Teachers
Chocolate and Sweets Gifts for Teachers
Pampering Gifts for Teachers

This post contains Amazon Associate links.


Everything You Need to Know for Back to School in Upstate, SC

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Getting ready for “Back to School” in Upstate, South Carolina? We have all the information you need about school starting, education options, plus places where you can find free school supplies in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, and Pickens, and back-to-school celebrations.

This article includes information on:
Greenville County Schools
Spartanburg County School Districts
Anderson County School Districts
School District of Pickens County
Back to School Events

When does public school start?

Greenville County Schools begins classes Monday, August 15, 2022
Spartanburg Districts 1 – 7
begin classes Monday, August 15, 2022
Anderson Districts 1 – 5 begin classes Tuesday, August 16, 2022
School District of Pickens County begins classes Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Educational Options in the Upstate: If you have questions about your schooling options, this is the place to start. Find summaries and resources for all the public school, private school, virtual school, and homeschool options the Upstate.

Greenville County School District

The Greenville County School District will begin classes on Monday, August 15, 2022. The 2022-2023 School Calendar is available on the greenville.k12.sc.us website.

Everything You Need to Know About Greenville County Schools

For more information about public schools in Greenville County, check out our Guide to Greenville County Public Schools!  We have school calendars, menus, registration information, a tutorial for GCS Backpack, and lots more! You’ll want to bookmark this guide.

You can find out more about private schools in our area in our Private School Guide to Greenville.

Greenville County Schools News

What’s happening in Greenville County Schools that will affect your child and family? Our Greenville County Schools News page has all the important updates on school attendance, health policies, board meeting summaries, and more.

Find Free School Supplies in Greenville, SC

If you or someone you know needs help purchasing school supplies for this year, don’t miss this list of Events with Free School Supplies. And if you’re not sure what supplies your child needs, check with your child’s school website for a detailed list.

Spartanburg County School Districts 1 – 7

Spartanburg County Schools operate as seven separate districts. Each district starts the 2022-2023 academic year on Monday, August 15, 2022. You can find registration requirements, bus information, and more on each district’s website, which is listed below.

Spartanburg District Sites:

If you want to find more specific information about each district or you are new to Spartanburg and our area schools, please see our Guide to Spartanburg County School Districts.

You can find out more about private schools in our area in our Private School Guide to Spartanburg.

Free School Supplies in Spartanburg, SC

Need help with school supplies? Here’s a list of events where kids can get free school supplies in Spartanburg. If you need to find your child’s school supply list, visit their school’s website.

Anderson County School Districts 1 – 5

Anderson County Schools operate by 5 separate districts. Classes will start on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, for all districts for the 2022-2023 academic year. Information about each district’s schedules, bus information, registration, and more can be found on their individual websites.

Free School Supplies in Anderson, SC

Need help finding school supplies in Anderson, SC? Check out our list of free school supply events in the Upstate. You can find a detailed list of school supplies need for your child on their school’s website.

School District of Pickens County

The School District of Pickens County begins classes Tuesday, August 2, 2022. The 2022-2023 academic calendar can be located at https://www.pickens.k12.sc.us along with additional information about registration, bus schedules, specific schools, and much more.

Planning to enroll in a charter school? Pickens County offers several charter schools that can be an alternative to your child’s education. 

Free School Supplies in the Upstate

In need of school supplies in Pickens County? We have a list of dozens of free school supply events throughout the upstate where you can get supplies for your child.

Back to School Events in the Upstate

Back to School Splash

Morningside Baptist Church, 1115 Pelham Road, Greenville
July 29, 2022, from 9 am-Noon
August 10, 2022, at 7 pm
Back to School Splash

Unity Health on Main’s 3rd Annual Back to School Event

505 N. Main Street, Greenville
Unity Health on Main
July 30, 2022- 10 am – 12 pm
Back to School

At this first-come-first-served drive-thru event, families will receive school supplies (students must be present for supplies), along with FoodShare Fruit and Veggie boxes from Mill Village Farms (1 box per family, while supplies last).

Upstate Community & Family Day

McAllister Square, 225 S Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville
July 30, 2022, from 11 am – 1 pm
Community & Family Day

Back to School Event

Town of Duncan
121 South Spencer Street, Duncan
August 2, 2022, 6 to 9 pm
Duncan Back to School Event

Free school supplies, food trucks, and family fun.

Back to School Bash

Temple Church
171 Watkins Court, Spartanburg
August 3, 2022, at 5:15 pm
Back to School Bash

Countdown to Kindergarten

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate
130 Magnolia Street, Spartanburg 29306
Friday, August 5th, 2022, 6 – 8 pm
This FREE event prepares children and families for an exciting kindergarten year. Geared toward families with children entering 3K, 4K, and Kindergarten, this event gives families an opportunity to connect with an array of community partners focused on student success and childhood development.
Countdown to Kindergarten

United Way School Tools

Staunton Bridge Community Center, 165 Staunton Bridge Road, Greenville
Greer Relief, 202 Victoria Street, Greer
August 6, 2022, 10 am to 2 pm
United Way School Tools Day

Pack Your Bags Picnic

20 Bell Road, Greenville
Woodruff Road Christian Church
August 6th, 2022, 10 am – 2 pm
Pack Your Bags Picnic with free school supplies, a free cookout with hot dogs, chips, lemonade, cookies, bounce houses, and more!

Back to School Bash

810 North Main Street, Greer
Hosted by Upstate Nutrition
August 6th, 2022, 10 am – 4 pm
Lots of fun including funnel cakes, food trucks, face painting, inflatables, and a petting zoo.
Back to School Bash

Do you know of a back-to-school event we have missed? Let us know so we can add it to our list!

Thinking About Private Kindergarten? Consider Primrose.

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Recent news articles listed virtual learning and block scheduling as the leading candidates for the 2022-2023 school year. However, Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks will run a normal schedule with face-to-face instruction for their private Kindergarten class in the 2022-2023 school year regardless of the public school decision for the school year. Do you think Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks may be the place for your kindergartener? Find out more about this private Kindergarten!


5 Things You Need To Know Before School Lets Out

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In these last few weeks of the school year, it is important to still prioritize school. We are lucky Erica McCall is sharing what parents need to remember these last few weeks. Erica is in her 10th year of teaching, so she’s a pro at giving down-to-earth advice on educational topics like this one. 


2023/2024 Private School Tours and Open House Events near Greenville, SC

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Are you starting a school search and looking for 2023/2024 open house information? The Upstate offers many educational options for children. To help you on your search, we have a list of the open houses and tours available at area schools in both Greenville and Spartanburg Counties. If you know of an open house event not listed here, please let us know in the comments!

This article includes:
Private School Open House Events and Tours in Greenville, SC
Private School Open House Events and Tours in Spartanburg, SC


Elementary Students Going Back to School In-Person in Greenville

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Greenville County Schools announced that all elementary students, K4-5th grade, can go back to school in-person through a phased in program starting October 12th. There are going to be changes inside classrooms, including the use of plexiglass dividers and masks that have been approved by DHEC.

“That gives us a solution to safely return all of our elementary students and staff enrolled in brick and mortar schools, ” said Dr. Royster.

This does not affect students enrolled in the Virtual Program.

Because middle and high school students have more than 25 students per classroom (the cap allowed with the use of plexiglass dividers), these students cannot go back full-time in person.


First graders have already been moving to five day in-person instruction and will continue to do so and start their first full week the week of October 12th.

The schedule below is from GCS:

4K & 5K

  • Week of October 12 
    • Students will attend Monday or Tuesday, based on color group
  • Students will attend Wednesday & Thursday, October 14 & 15
  • Week of October 19 is the first full week of attendance (4 Days because October 23 is a professional development day) 
  • Week of October 26 will be first full 5-day week

1st Grade – already underway

  • Week of September 30
  • Students attended Monday or Tuesday, based on color group
  • Students attended Wednesday & Thursday, September 30 & October 1 
  • Week of October 12 will be first full 5-day week

2nd Grade

  • Week of October 19 
    • Students will attend Monday or Tuesday, based on color group
  • Students will attend Wednesday & Thursday, October 21 & 22
  • Week of October 26 will be first full 5-day week

3rd Grade

  • Week of October 26 
    • Students will attend Monday or Tuesday, based on color group

Students will attend Wednesday & Thursday, October 28 & 29
Week of November 2 will be first full week (4 days because Election Day is the Nov. 3) 

4th Grade & 5th Grade

  • Week of November 2 
    • Students in Blue and Green color groups will attend Monday
    • Tuesday is a school holiday due to Election Day – no students attend
  • Students will attend Wednesday and Thursday, November 4 & 5
  • Week of November 9 is first full 5-day week

What Classrooms Will Look Like

The use of plexiglass dividers and masks will be used in grades 2-5 classrooms where six feet of distance is not possible.

Up to four students wearing masks will sit in clusters with three feet of distance between them plus a plexiglass barrier. Each cluster will be separated by six feet.

If a student in a cluster tests positive for COVID, the other three students will not need to quarantine as long as all safety protocols were followed.

The only time students will be able to remove their mask is during lunch and possibly other instances where social distancing at six feet can be observed.

Kindergarten and first grade students will be socially distanced within classrooms and masks are not mandated unless they are transitioning classrooms or other instances where six feet of distance is not possible.

Students who wish to switch to in-person from the Virtual Program can apply but they would be put on a waitlist. All of the considerations GCS took in order to return to school is based on the current number of students enrolled in brick-and-mortar school.

Transportation Issues

“We know, based on the analysis of our current riders, we will be able to bring all of the elementary students to school on time,” said Dr. Royster.

“We will have a number of middle and high school students that will now be late because of elementary students, which will vary but could be up to 30 minutes late. We are looking at what we can offset what they would miss.”

GCS said they are in desperate need of bus drivers. Apply here.

Kids will not be socially distanced on the bus and are still required to wear masks. We reached out to GCS to clarify this and received this answer:

” Because of this change, there will be two elementary students per seat which does not allow for 6-feet of social distancing. (Normally, there are three elementary students per seat.)  Kids will be required to wear masks for the entire bus ride, to and from school. The state Department of Education says buses should filled to 67 percent capacity, which is essentially two students per seat.”

What Are Teachers Thinking?

GCS surveyed their teachers and staff last week about the plexiglass plan.

Among the 3,800 teachers who responded to the survey:

  • 83.5% reported protocols such as mask wearing and social distancing have been followed with little to no resistance,
  • 12.7% reported employees have done well, but students have been less compliant,
  • 82.1% of teachers indicated that have felt very safe (42%) or somewhat safe (40.1%) from COVID while at work this fall. 

GCS teachers are divided over returning to full-time in-person instruction:

  • 51% of all teachers reported feeling comfortable with the idea of moving to five-days-a-week face-to-face instruction when in accord with DHEC regulations,
  • 60% of elementary teachers indicating they were comfortable.

As the case has been over the summer and fall, GCS will be daily monitoring compliance with these protocols and the number of COVID cases among students and staff.

“A significant change in either could result in a return to a hybrid schedule or 100% eLearning,” said GCS in an email to media.

Have students learning at home? Here are some virtual and local learning opportunities for students learning at home, plus our huge list of educational day trips and travel from Greenville.

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.

Greenville County Schools: Some Students to Return to In-Person School

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Greenville County Schools has always wanted to get all students back to class in-person, based on their road map and extensive plans. They announced today that all students in first grade, as well as self-contained special ed students at all grades and Level 2 classes at Career Centers will begin transitioning to in-person instruction beginning next week.

This has no bearing on students in the Virtual Program, who are always doing 100% virtual. For students who chose in-person learning, read on.

First Grade & Preschool/Elementary Special-Ed Self-Contained Students

First Grade Students and Preschool/Elementary Special Education SELF-CONTAINED Students will begin phasing in five-day a week in-person instruction over next three weeks. The schedule is below:

Week of September 28

Students will attend Monday or Tuesday based on color group.  Beginning Wednesday all first graders and preschool/elementary special education self-contained students will also attend Wednesday and Thursday.  The net result is that all students in these categories will attend in-person school three days next week (Monday or Tuesday PLUS Wednesday and Thursday)

Week of October 5

All students in these categories will attend four days of school – Monday through Thursday

Week of October 12

All students in these categories will return to five day a week, in-person instruction until further notice.

Middle School and High School Special Ed Self-Contained Students

MS and HS Special Education self-contained students and Career Center Level II Students will start phasing in four-day a week in-person instruction over next two weeks.

Week of September 28

Students attend all classes Monday or Tuesday based on color group.  Beginning Wednesday attend all self-contained classes and Career Center Level II courses on both Wednesday and Thursday.  The net result is that all students in these categories will attend school/career center classes in-person three days next week (Monday or Tuesday PLUS Wednesday and Thursday). Please note, career center students will follow the district-wide attendance plan (currently Plan 2) for their regular education classes – this change only impacts attendance at their career center classes. 

Week of October 5 and on

All students in these categories will attend self-contained classes and career center courses four days – Monday through Thursday. Please note, career center students will remain on Plan 2 for their regular education classes – this change only impacts attendance at their career center classes.

Spread of COVID-19 at GCS

The number of COVID-19 are low at GCS schools and Dr. Royster noted that very few of them contracted COVID-19 at schools. They do contact tracing for every case. The number of cases and where they are located is updated at this link.

Masks are still required at school. GCS will continue the sanitation measures that have been in place since the beginning of the school year.

This is what they stated on their site: ” All students, including 1st graders and special ed students, will be required to wear masks when transitioning (hallways, entering school). Classes at the Fine Arts Center are not included because student numbers do not allows for social distancing in all programs.”

Why just these grades are going back?

Dr. Royster said that these grades and classes have a smaller number of students in the class that allow for social distancing. For K5 for instance, they will likely split up the classes into groups so they can adhere to social distancing. They are working on those plans.

“This plan allows us to keep in place the safety and health parameters that we believe have contributed to the success we’ve had in safely reentering schools,” said Dr. Royster.

“These students require greater interaction and more face-to-face interaction,” he continued.

What about other grades?

GCS has indicated they want to bring back other grades soon: “Greenville County Schools is currently exploring options to return K4 and K5 students to full-time, in-person instruction in a manner that allows classrooms to be set up for social distancing.”

Dr. Royster also indicated that an announcement will be forthcoming about getting K4 and K5 students back in class four or five days a week.

The biggest obstacle to getting students back to in-person classes is the six feet of distance requirements.

“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. “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.”

Pre-k and Kindergarten classrooms are bigger. Dr. Royster noted that for students to get back into these classrooms, DHEC would need to recommend a distance of less than six feet.

If you want to sign your child up for the Virtual Program, please contact the school district to be added to the waiting list.

We will update as more information is announced.

Is your child still learning from home? Here’s a list of virtual educational fun things to do to add some variety to the day.

Or, check out our list of educational things to do in Greenville. Get out and enjoy this beautiful fall weather!