School Board approved HYBRID PLUS beginning Feb. 1

School Board Approved HYBRID PLUS Beginning Feb. 1
Posted on 01/13/2021

Here is a link to a video from Superintendent Keith Price providing information regarding schedule changes, including HYBRID PLUS.

Below is the text of the video.

Hello GCSD family and happy new year.  I wanted to send out a message about a change in our operating plan that was voted on and unanimously approved at last night’s school board meeting.  Beginning February 1, we will implement Hybrid Plus in all of our elementary and intermediate schools.  This means that students who have been attending school at those levels on our hybrid schedule two days per week, will now begin attending school in person four days per week.  A day students and B day students will now attend school together on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Wednesdays will continue to be asynchronous learning days where students will complete their assignments online.  This will allow for our teachers to continue collaborative planning efforts and for our schools to continue deep cleaning efforts mid-week as a strategy to help mitigate the risk of COVID spread.


This change will result in an increase in the number of students that each classroom will have.  We have completed the installation of the updated plexiglass barriers in our classrooms.  According to DHEC, with these new barriers, we will be able to safely seat students as close as 3 feet apart.  We will still try to space desks 6 feet apart to the extent possible.


Much of the current medical research that has been reviewed supports schools moving in this direction with younger students.  They are less likely to contract the virus, less likely to spread the virus, and less likely to suffer from the virus when compared to others.  As we have always done, we will continue with our persistent close contact tracing and will make decisions accordingly.  Mask wearing and social distancing will continue to be mandated in all schools.


Our middle and high schools will continue to follow their current hybrid schedule.


Those students who signed up for our all virtual program will continue to follow the same model that they have since the beginning of the year.


We have fewer students who have signed up for the all virtual program for second semester so many students will begin attending classes in-person for the first time beginning February 1.  Since we will have fewer students in the all virtual program, we will not need as many teachers for the all virtual program so some of them will be returning to our hybrid and hybrid plus model as well.  As a result, some students will have different teachers for second semester.  We will try to keep these changes to a minimum but recognize that this may happen as we work to maintain balanced classrooms in all of our schools throughout the district.


We recognize that the change to Hybrid Plus for elementary and intermediate schools is different than what was available at the time families were asked to submit their intent for second semester.  As a result, we want to give parents with students in elementary and intermediate schools an opportunity to change their decision based on this new information.  If you wish to change your decision, we are asking all parents to notify your student’s school by Wednesday, January 20 so that we may make the necessary adjustments as quickly as possible.  These late adjustments may not be completed by February 1 but we will make every effort to do so quickly.


We would also like to announce at this time that all schools at all levels will return to Hybrid learning on January 25.  Middle and high schools will remain on Hybrid schedule from January 25 until further notice.  Elementary and intermediate schools will return to Hybrid schedule on January 25, will move to Hybrid Plus on February 1 and will then remain in Hybrid Plus until further notice.


Winter sports competitions and spring sports conditioning will resume on January 25.


I want to thank everyone for their patience as we have reviewed a lot of information and research with the consideration of this process.  All of these plans and possibilities have been shared with the South Carolina State Department of Education and our medical partners at Tidelands Health before they were ever presented and ultimately approved.  The safety of all of our students, our employees, and the families they go home to will continue to be at the forefront of all of our planning efforts as we move forward this year.  Thank you for your attention and for allowing me to share this information with you and best wishes to everyone as we move forward together.

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