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We know that many of you continue to have concerns about COVID-19 and the reopening of schools. Our district continues to monitor local data and information from the Centers for Disease Control, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the State Superintendent of Education and the Governor’s Office. We receive daily updates from the Greenwood Emergency Management Division. We feel very strongly about the safety and well-being of our staff and students during this time.  

We have implemented guidelines to help you and our students remain healthy.  PPE equipment that we currently have or have ordered includes mask-type face coverings, face shields, hand-sanitizers, electrostatic cleaning machines, cleaning products and disinfectants, plexiglass dividers, and gloves.

Students and staff in SC public schools must wear a face-covering upon entering a school building, moving through hallways, during carpool/bus drop off or pick up, and when social distancing is not possible or optimal. Student face coverings may be removed upon teacher or administrator direction while in the classroom or during special activities outside the classroom.

The state's face mask requirement follows the guidance set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which states that cloth face coverings should not be placed on:

  1. Children younger than 2 years old.
  2. Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
  3. Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance.
  4. Those with special healthcare or educational needs as determined by an Individualized Education Plan (IEP),  504 accommodations plan, or an individual student healthcare plan, or by a medical doctor.

The CDC guidance also has considerations for clear face coverings for special populations of students and staff. 

The SCDE has provided cloth face coverings for teachers, bus drivers, custodians, and food service workers. The district is also providing face shields for staff members. 

The district will provide two cloth face coverings for each student. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to wash the face-covering after each day of wearing. Having 2 masks and being on an A/B schedule will allow ample time for keeping the masks fresh and clean. If a student's mask is visibly dirty, he/she will be provided a paper mask for the day.

Additional safety measures being taken by our district:

  • Health protocols will be communicated, taught, and practiced upon our return to school.  
  • Staff will wipe down commonly touched items used throughout the workday. 
  • Custodians will implement Enhanced Safety Cleaning Protocols for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting surfaces and areas.
  • Buses will be disinfected after each route.
  • Schools will use a variety of techniques to minimize interactions in common areas, such as staggered transitions meals in the classroom.
  • Morning announcements will include age-appropriate health reminders.
  • Non-essential visitors will not be allowed access to school buildings before, during, or after the school day.
  • Parents/guardians who need to meet with school staff will be directed to a designated location to attend scheduled conferences and meetings.
  • School administrators will notify DHEC of any confirmed case or cluster of cases among staff or students.
  • Those demonstrating symptoms of illness should not come to school for any reason; if a person develops symptoms while present, an isolation room has been designated in each school for evaluation by the school nurse. Students will wait in the isolation room with the school nurse to be transported home if needed.
  • Each school's health room will be equipped with non-contact thermometers.
  • The principal and school nurse will establish and communicate protocols for retrieving medications when school is closed.
  • Nurses will be made aware of special health care needs among the student population.
  • Staff and students with known or suspected COVID-19, or displaying COVID-19 symptoms cannot remain at school. They should return only after their symptoms resolve, no earlier than 14 calendar days after exposure or 72 hours (3 days) after the fever is gone, without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
  • Symptomatic staff or students will seek testing from their healthcare provider, or they will be referred to a provider for testing.
  • Each school has a Core Threat Assessment Team. This team will be utilized to address students' social, emotional, and mental health needs. Teachers will embed social-emotional learning and support into the curriculum.  
  • A referral will be made to the School-Based Mental Health counselor if a student is experiencing fear, depression, or anxiety.

Please email reopen2020@gwd51.org if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions on other safety measures that we can implement to protect you and your students. Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work together to support our school district.

LINKS

Parents - Planning for 5-Day Face-to-Face Learning

Children, Masks, and COVID-19 - Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Return to School Chart

Frequently Asked Questions - Parents (English)

Frequently Asked Questions - Parents (Spanish)

Hotspots and Internet - Parents' Frequently Asked Questions 

South Carolina DHEC

Identifying Close Contacts of Athletes

CDC Guidance - Considerations for School Closure

Protect Yourself

Quick Facts

Stop the Spread

DHEC Exclusion List

Staying Home With a Sick Child Eng

Staying Home With a Sick Child Span