Greenville County Schools received the executive order from Governor Henry McMaster on Sunday, March 15th that it was to move to virtual school because of COVID-19 pandemic (on March 16th, South Carolina had 53 positive cases and two deaths).
Since that time, Greenville County Schools (and their counterparts around the state) quickly developed e-learning strategies for the district’s 72,000 students. The district’s highly regarded Food and Nutrition Services department pivoted to bus breakfast and lunch throughout the district, serving 1,350,000 meals with the help of 450 food service, transportation, and nursing staff. And all summer, they’ve strategized and developed a flexible and adaptive plan to provide an even better online and in person education depending on our disease spread rates.
By yesterday, July 15th, South Carolina Governor McMaster called a press conference to call on all school districts to submit reopening plans that give parents the option to send their children back to school five days a week. Or, he said, parents can choose to keep their students home and receive virtual instruction.
He did not issue an executive order, and it appears that without that, his remarks have no actual authority over districts since it is the elected State Superintendent of Education, Molly Spearman, who approves these plans. Nonetheless, there is a lot of confusion, strong opinion, and uncertainty over what’s ahead for South Carolina’s students and parents along with the places that work with and employ them.
Whitney Hanna, Coordinator of Community Collaboration joined GPP and NPA on July 8th to share the district’s plans for the 2020-2021 school year and the implications for nonprofits and funders.
Click here to view a recording of the conversation. You can also get the latest information on Greenville County Schools’ plans and activities on their Destination Return to School Parent Resource Page.