SUMTER, S.C. — Sumter County schools will begin the school year on August 28 with virtual instruction, according to Sumter School District officials.
The move comes despite a call from South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster for all schools to offer in school classes five days a week along with any virtual options.
A statement from the Board of Trustees released by the district Monday night reads as follows.
On behalf of the Sumter School District Board of Trustees, we stand firm on our decision to support the recommendation of the superintendent to start the school year in a virtual capacity. In order to incorporate the state-mandated LEAP days prior to the beginning of the school year, teachers will return August 17, and we will welcome our students back through virtual instruction August 28.
As the superintendent has stated before, the safety of our students, staff, and community are at the forefront of every decision that is made. Sumter, unfortunately, remains a high risk community based on data from SC DHEC. Although we recognize the importance of transitioning to a hybrid model that includes face-to-face and virtual instruction, we will not sacrifice the health and well-being of our students, staff, and community by reopening before it is safe to do so.
We acknowledge and appreciate the diligent work of the Reopening of School Task Force and its subcommittees as they continue to meet daily to finalize our reentry plan. We appreciate the feedback we have received from our students, employees, and community. Together, we are stronger. Together Sumter: Every School, Every Child, Every Day! We are Sumter Strong.
Ralph W. Canty, Sr., D.Min Sumter School District Board of Trustees Chairman