LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — “As you can see this is where we’ve been since the first week of school. We started with 139 positive cases,” says an employee with the Lancaster County School District during the September 21st board meeting.
Right now, the district has over 150 cases and over 1100 students quarantined.
“Now you have a whole different population of students and parents that are thinking it may be safer for the kids to be virtual,” Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Phipps said.
He says at the end of last year, the district didn’t have enough people sign up for the virtual option for this year… especially since COVID cases appeared to be decreasing.
Now as the District’s COVID 19 cases have been fluctuating since the beginning of the school year, they’ve revisited the option again after several parent requests.
“We have about 1500 that signed up that said we want to look at the virtual as an option. It’s now down to less than about 500 students out of about 15000 in the district,” Dr. Phipps said.
Allyson Fore’s two children aren’t apart of that number.
“I’m not doing the virtual option because how bad it was for our kids last year. You just can’t ask 7-and-8 year-olds to sit in front of a computer for 6 hours a day,” says Fore.
She tried it for the first half of the school year and eventually contacted their principal to get them back inside the classroom.
This year, both kids tested positive for COVID, but she says a virtual option won’t mitigate the spread like many think it will.
“I think it’s a very simple solution and I think it’s crazy that this isn’t happening because we need to go back to the basic things of masks.”
Despite how Fore feels, Dr. Phipps says parents are appreciative of the board looking into the option again.
“And we try to accommodate as best we can to the needs of the students.”
The next step in the process is for interested families to apply and see if their student qualifies for the virtual option. This application closes Friday, September 24 at noon.
After the application window closes, teachers will be secured for classes depending on the academic needs. It will still be several weeks before the virtual option is up and running.
“We hope the virtual option provides some flexibility and relieves stress for concerned families,” said Superintendent Jonathan Phipps.
Now all the district needs to do is find teachers to man the virtual option. Right now, they’re recruiting retired teachers and other certified people.
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