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SC schools will have face-to-face instruction for the fall, bill passes at State House

There are currently no districts offering only full virtual instruction, according to SCDE.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina schools will be back to face to face instruction for the rest of the school year and in the fall as well, following a directive by the State Education Department and the passing of a bill by state lawmakers.

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) released an update Wednesday on school operations in the state, plans to transition to face to face instruction, and a statement from State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman on legislation (S.704) that passed the General Assembly Wednesday.

According to SCDE, 76 districts in the state and offering full face to face instruction. Three districts, Colleton, Greenville, and Hampton 2 are offering hybrid in-person instruction. These districts will transition to face to face instruction for all students on April 26, according to the recent update. 

There are currently no districts offering full virtual instruction, according to SCDE.

According to the update, 1210 schools are operating fully face to face. 51 schools are operating on a hybrid (2-4 days) schedule. 

Wednesday,  the General Assembly passed a joint resolution (S.704) requiring all school districts to offer dive-day, in-person instruction no later than April 26, 2021.

This resolution also requires five day in-person learning to be offered next year. Other details include removing earning limitations (up to $50,000) for retired K-12 educators, and prohibiting school districts from assigning teachers to teach both virtual and in-person at the same time unless "it is reasonable and necessary due to extreme and unavoidable circumstances." Additional compensation must be provided in these situations, according to the resolution. 

Districts may offer virtual instruction to families that have chosen it for the 2020-21 school year, and the resolution does not stop a district from continuing to offer virtual options.

Molly M. Spearman, State Superintendent of Education, released the following statement on the resolution.

"Every family must be given the option of sending their child to school five days a week face to face and the science shows that this can be done safely in every community. I am thankful for the educators who have been making this option a reality for many throughout this school year and look forward to the Governor signing this bill into law, ensuring every school will be fully open for in-person learning now and into the future."