Fort Mill Schools Looking At Virtual, In-Person Options For Upcoming School Year

FORT MILL, S.C. — The Fort Mill Schools District recently held a meeting to address the construction of three new schools, summer school, the 2020-2021 school year opening and calendar adjustments.

Construction Update

Mr. Joe Romenik shared a construction update with the board regarding Kings Town Elementary, River Trail Elementary and Forest Creek Middle schools.

Kings Town Elementary is on track for opening in August at the start of the 2020–2021 school year. Following the delays in construction announced earlier this year, River Trail Elementary is on track to open for students in January 2021. River Trail students will be housed in their class groups at Doby’s Bridge and Kings Town Elementary schools for the first part of the 2020–2021 school year and will transition to the new building following winter break.

Forest Creek Middle School is on track for tentative completion in May of 2021 and opening to students for the 2021–2022 school year.

Updates of Summer School and 2020-2021 School Year Opening

Dr. Chuck Epps provided an update regarding Summer School and the AccelerateFM Task Force’s work on plans to reopen schools in August, 2020.

Elementary Summer School classes will start on Monday, July 6 with an in-person and virtual option.

The Fort Mill School District is working diligently to create a plan for the return to school for the 2020–2021 school year. The district has collected data from parent, teacher and staff surveys to help guide our decisions, along with reviewing recommendations from the AccelerateED Task Force, S.C. DHEC, the CDC and medical associations.

While plans for the return to school in August have not been finalized, the district is currently evaluating in-person learning options for students. These options include a rotating schedule, as well as a full return for students. As the district evaluated these plans, the administration determined there is a need for a fully virtual option for K–12 parents to select as an alternative to any in-person plan.

More information about the Fort Mill Virtual Academy curriculum and operation will be available on the district’s website beginning Thursday, July 2.

Consideration of 2020-2021 Calendar Adjustment

Dr. Epps and Mr. Joe Burke presented an adjusted calendar to the board based on recent bill passed by the S.C. Legislature. The bill adds 5 instructional days to the school calendar for students in Kindergarten through Eighth grade and allows for an earlier start date of August 10. These five days are designed to provide time for student evaluation, review and remediation following the need for distance learning during 2019–2020 school year. In accordance with this new legislation, the Fort Mill School Board approved changes to the school calendar.

The approved changes include moving the school start date for all students to Monday, August 10, 2020, the end date for high school students to Friday, May 21, 2021, and the end date for elementary and middle school students to Friday, May 28, 2021.