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Calhoun County students start the new school year

As Calhoun County students begin the new school year virtually, the district works to provide hotspots for every child who needs internet access at home.

CALHOUN COUNTY, S.C. — Calhoun County Public Schools began their first day of the school year on Monday.

This year's start of the school year is unlike any other due to the pandemic.

For months, school districts across the state have been determining what learning will look like for the 2020-2021 school year.

Superintendent Dr. Steve Wilson says they've spent a lot of time preparing for school during the pandemic.

"The big takeaway is those things that we learned, you know, when this thing came through in March. We picked up some things that I thought would help us going forward. It turns out they did," said Dr. Wilson.

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It was a different start of the school year for Calhoun County Public Schools. Instead of schools being full, kids were learning virtually from home. Some teachers came to their classroom so they could teach students online.

Dr. Wilson thought the first day went really well across the district.

"It was really good to see your plans come to fruition. We have put a lot of time and effort on this so everybody right now seems to be pleased and like I said, we always have a few glitches first day but I suspect it's going to get better and better as the week goes by. We always have those kids who have gotten their pass codes and those kinds of things," explained Dr. Wilson. "It went well, I was really pleased."

With Calhoun County being a rural area, a concern has been internet access.

Dr. Wilson says the district requested about 700 hotspots to help fill the need.

"The internet was a little better today. We've still got some work to do with it but it worked better today. Those hotspots really bailed us out," said Dr. Wilson. "We had hostpots where they need to be and in the hands of those who needed them."

The district's IT department is on standby to help staff and students with internet issues they may have. They're also hoping to increase bandwidth to give kids a stronger internet connection.

Some students who were having issues with their internet were able to come to a school gym while being isolated from others so they could have access to Wi-Fi.

Calhoun County Public Schools will continue to monitor coronavirus activity in the area before transitioning to in-person learning.

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