Area School Districts Changing Reopening Plans After Governor’s Announcement

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Governor Henry McMaster is making his case for what he would like to see happen with schools this year.

This week, many school districts in our area have already approved plans and academic calendars for fall.

But a lot of those plans look different from what McMaster urged districts to do in his Wednesday press conference.

The governor said all schools must return to in person learning, but give parents a virtual learning option.

He’s also urging districts to reopen schools on Tuesday, Sept. 8th.

Here’s the message from South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster when it comes reopening schools.

“Schools must have in-class, face to face teaching so that these children do not fall behind”, McMaster said.

His message, sending school districts back to the drawing board.

“After we have already done months of work, out hundreds of hours of research and planning with community based task force to present to our board our plan, we now have to figure out what’s next,” Mychal Frost with the Rock Hill Schools District said. “So, do we change? Do we not change? How do we accommodate with the new information?”

The Rock Hill School District submitted plans for hybrid learning and virtual learning on Monday. But the governor is asking all school districts to reopen for in-person instruction five days a week, as well as a virtual option.

“Each district must allow the parents to make that choice for their children,” the governor said. “I ask our superintendent Molly Spearman not to approve any district plan that doesn’t give parents a choice to send their children to classroom face-to-face instruction.”

Face to face instruction, that’s something the Rock Hill School District Teacher of the Year is worried about.

“We love our students. I mean we are passionate about what we do. That’s why we got into the field,” Kristi McGuirt said. “But on the other hand, we want our students and teachers to be safe.”

Noticeably absent from the governor’s press conference was South Carolina Superintendent Molly Spearman.

Gov. Henry McMaster said he invited her, but she chose not to attend. Spearman did release a statement, saying while she wants to see students return to school, safety is a priority.

The deadline for school districts to submit their plans is Friday, July 17th.

Spearman has to be the one to approve those plans.

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