KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — Almost a month before school starts, the Kershaw County School District has announced a face mask policy that will require masks to be used inside any KCSD facility -- only when social distancing is not possible.
The policy was posted on the district's Facebook page over the weekend and reads in part:
"To coincide with its reopening response plan, the Kershaw County School District is releasing face mask requirements for the 2020-21 school year. The more people a student or staff member interacts with, and the longer that interaction is, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the risk of COVID-19 spread increases in school settings when there are in-person classes that do not allow for social distancing. We can reduce the risk by keeping groups of students together with the same teacher (when possible) throughout the course of the day, stagger scheduling, and reduce class sizes. With this in mind, the following guidelines have been established for the Kershaw County School District:
- Face masks will be required any time social distancing is not possible.
- Face masks will be required for all faculty, staff, and volunteers as well as anyone in KCSD facilities.
- Face masks will be required for students in grades 3rd through 12th.
- Face masks for students in grades PK-2nd will be at the discretion of the parents.
- Face masks will be required on all KCSD school and activity buses.
Exemptions will be made for persons:
- With existing medical conditions,
- During strenuous activities, or
- While eating and drinking.
KCSD will provide a cloth mask to each student and each faculty and staff member. The SC Department of Education has provided five masks for each bus driver. We will keep a limited supply of disposable masks on hand. COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose or mouth, causing infection. Therefore, personal prevention practices such as washing hands, staying home when sick, and ensuring proper environmental cleaning of physical spaces are essential."
KCSD enrollment begins Wednesday, July 29, for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents and guardians of students are encouraged to complete the process online. Schools will be open for three days — July 29, July 30 and Aug. 3 —from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. for families who need assistance.