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Orangeburg County students to begin school year online

All Orangeburg County School District students will begin the school year online through September 11.
Credit: WLTX

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — All Orangeburg County School District students will begin the school year online according to the reopening plan released by district officials on Friday. 

Officials released the 82-page plan on Friday. The plan allows for face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid instruction to meet the needs of students and families and also respond to increasing or decreasing cases of the coronavirus in the area.

“While the document is very thorough and specific, it is also well organized, and we believe will provide greater understanding to students, parents/guardians on the levels of re-entry, health and safety protocols, instructional models, and logistics,”  says District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster.

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All students will begin the 2020-2021 school year virtually through Orangeburg Online through September 11. As the school year moves forward, officials say they will consider metrics outlined in the plan to determine when to transition between learning models based on coronavirus spread within the community of low (Traditional Learning Model), medium (Hybrid Learning Model), and high (e-Learning Model). 

In the Traditional Model, elementary school students will attend school from 7:30 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. Middle and high school students’ schedule is from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. While this model represents the lowest restrictions when there is low spread within the community, officials say extensive safety protocols will be in place, including masks (provided) for all students and staff when social distancing cannot be maintained, extensive cleaning, closed water fountains, closed lockers, no classroom or lunchroom visitors, no large events of 50+, and more.  

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The Hybrid Model would be moderately restrictive with three separate schedules for elementary, middle and high school students. In this model all elementary school students attend school Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 2:20 p.m., and will remain in their own classrooms in a “Family Model.” Officials say instructional staff will wear masks throughout instructional periods, and students will wear masks at all times when social distancing cannot be maintained, as defined by their teacher.

Middle school students and high school students will attend school on an A/B schedule (Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. for middle school; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for high school). Additionally, there will be a C day on Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for small groups, electives, and extra help. Friday will be an e-Learning day for other middle/high students with some scheduled activities on campus.

Middle and high school Special Education students whose least restrictive environment is “inside the regular class and activities for 79% or less of the day” will attend school following the Family Model for the complete school day Monday-Thursday and Friday (students will follow the time that middle and high schools are open for instruction). The Family Model will be utilized to achieve a small family unit within one classroom to the greatest extent possible.  

RELATED: Many in Orangeburg not in favor of returning to school in person in the fall

The e-learning model would be utilized with high community spread and would be restricted to a full-virtual model. The e-learning model would include both live and on-demand learning. Each teacher will develop a schedule for daily live instruction that will be posted on the school website.  

OCSD families, this is a reminder that next week begins LEAP week fo... r Orangeburg County School District. We want to also inform all families that you may pick up student devices for virtual learning beginning Tuesday, August 11 until Monday, August 17 from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.

As for starting the school year, all students will begin the 2020-2021 school year virtually through Orangeburg Online through September 11.  

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • August 10-14: Kindergarten through eighth grade teachers and students (on designated days) will come back to school for L.E.A.P. to reconnect and engage in small group meetings and orientation, hands-on technical support during computer/device distribution, and family/special service meetings.  
  • August 17-21: Teachers and staff will engage in professional development in Orangeburg Online. 
  • August 24-28: Students in kindergarten through 8th grade will begin learning virtually; high school student orientations/device distribution.   
  • August 31: High School students join elementary and middle school students in virtual learning.