York County Charter, Private Schools Lay Out Reopening Plans, Prepare To Welcome Students

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — We know our public school districts have laid out a plan for what school will look like this fall.

Tonight we are learning more about the charter schools and private schools. Some of which start back this week.

Legion Collegiate tells us it is planning to use a hybrid model balancing in person and virtual but they are also offering fully virtual for those who want it. They must commit for the semester. They also plan to have students wear masks and practice social distancing. They start back next week, August 18th.

St. Anne Catholic school says it selected 4 days a week in the classroom and one day of remote learning. They start back September 8th and are also offering a virtual academy.

York Preps teachers are all now back on campus. Students will start August 20th.
The school is offering a full virtual option as well as A-B days with students 2 days on campus and 3 days at home. When they open, they will all start virtually with the goal to get kids back on campus as case numbers drop.

Fort Mill’s Walnut Grove Christian School also brought back teachers and high school students on this Monday. Middle starts Tuesday and elementary Wednesday. They are going 4 days a week in person and say at their small size, they can maintain social distancing. There are only 170 students on campus and class sizes normally are less than 15.

And there are 2 more schools in our area, Westminster Catawba Christian School and Riverview Academy, that are releasing their back to school plans. Two different schools that have very different plans for the upcoming school year amid COVID-19.

Riverwalk academy, which houses roughly 575 elementary, middle and high school students, starts back august 19th.

“We essentially started brainstorming, planning almost as as soon as school went virtual this past march, we have been, we’ve had different planning cohorts that have kind of gathered together through summer to kind of plan and figure out okay what will fall look like and trying to make sure logistically the plan is something we can actually execute,” Kammy Goedhart said.

The charter school will be offering face-to-face instruction 4 days a week with Fridays serving as a distance learning day for additional activities or intervention services for at risk students. It also purchased a a virtual program for students who aren’t comfortable returning to the classroom.

“We also want everyone to know its definitely going to be okay, we have worked very hard, we have put in countless hours over the summer to make sure our kids are returning to school in a safe environment and also equipping our staff and families and our students with the virtual online program and making sure that even if they choose not come to school face to face, that they will still be taken care of and that they will not fall through the cracks,” Goedhart said.

Desks will spaced six-feet apart. Students are asked to wear masks in common areas or lobby. In the classroom, it’s optional. Also following CDC guidelines, West Minster Catawba Christian School.

“There is a lot of anxiety and we are prayerfully doing all that we know what we can do, we are following those guidelines but we are also trusting that god is going to protect us, that doesn’t necessarily mean he will keep everyone safe,” Scott Dillon, head of school, said. “It doesn’t mean we will be without any impact of COVID, we already have families who have seen issues in their own families, but we also know that its students need to be back in school. That they need to be back with teachers and the teachers are really good.”

Classes begin at the private school August 13th. The 500 students – infant through 12th grade – have two options – a virtual program taught by Westminster’s teachers or 5 days a week in the classroom.

Although both Westminster and Riverwalk are small schools that can accommodate social distancing, it still wasn’t easy crafting the perfect back to school plan.

“It really has been a challenge because teachers are planning for students who can’t come yet, or who may have to miss,” Dillon said.



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