The Lion's Roar: Parent's Edition

Week of January 11th - 15th

A Message from Dr. Witherspoon - January 7, 2021

Dear Richland One Family,

I hope you had a safe and enjoyable winter break. We have flipped the calendar to 2021 and look forward to the promise and potential of brighter days that a new year brings.

I want to take another opportunity to thank you for your hard work going back to March of last year when schools were shut down to where we are now. I am very proud of each and every one of you. That said, I acknowledge the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the stress and anxiety that it has caused. Taking care of yourselves and your families, as well as our students and families, has been nothing short of incredible and that is recognized and appreciated. We remain in awe of our school leaders, teachers, support staff at the school and district levels, and all other members of our team.

We have started the first two weeks of January with a return to eLearning, given the significant increase in COVID-19 incidence rates, positivity rates and trends. Returning to eLearning also allows us time to assess other impacts, such as staff availability due to illness or quarantine, which we continue to be concerned about as well.

Know that the health and safety of our students and staff remain priorities in our daily discussions. At this time, we are reviewing the most recent COVID-19 data, as well as receiving feedback from our task force, which we continue to utilize as part of our decision-making process. We will follow up with you very soon regarding plans for beyond this two-week period (January 4-15).

Again, thank you for all that you have done and continue to do during these unprecedented times. We are Richland One Strong!

Craig Witherspoon, Ed.D.

A Message from Karen York

As announced by Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Richland One students will return to eLearning (Phase 1) for the two weeks (January 4-15, 2021) after the Winter Break.

Please note the following additional information regarding the two-week return to eLearning:

Instead of being in classes on separate days as they are during Phase 2, students in Cohort A and Cohort B will participate in eLearning classes together on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from January 4 through January 15th.

Wednesday, January 6 and Wednesday, January 13 will be flex days.

Return to Phase 2 (Hybrid)

The Dr. Martin Luther King., Jr. holiday will be observed district-wide on Monday, January 18.

Students tentatively will return to Phase 2 (hybrid) on Tuesday, January 19, with AA days on January 19 and January 20, and BB days on January 21 and January 22.

There will not be a flex day the week of January 18.

Please note that the week of January 25-29 also will be a four-day week for students. AA days will be January 25 and January 26, and BB days will be January 27 and January 28.

Friday, January 29 is a teacher workday. There will be not be a flex day that week.

Meal Distribution

Monday, January 4 from 9 a.m. - noon – Families can pick up three days’ worth of free meals for children at four district distribution sites: St. Andrews Middle, Eau Claire High, Lower Richland High and Carver-Lyon Elementary schools. District buses will not make any meal deliveries on January 4.

Wednesday, January 6 and Wednesday, January 13 from 9 a.m. - noon – Families can pick up seven days’ worth of free meals for children at seven district distribution sites: St. Andrews Middle, Eau Claire High, Lower Richland High, Carver-Lyon Elementary, Southeast Middle, South Kilbourne Elementary and Caughman Road Elementary schools.

In addition to these pick-up sites, meals will be distributed via district buses to a limited number of pre-determined bus stops. Those locations are posted on the district’s website (

Parents do not have to sign up or apply to receive these free meals for their children. However, if a parent/guardian is picking up meals without their children present, they must be pre-verified by the district or provide the child’s school ID, government-issued ID or passport, or a copy of their child(ren)’s PowerSchool information.

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, parents will be assisted in the foyer or via the outside speaker system. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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Richland One will move to eLearning Monday, January 4, 2021 through Friday, January 15, 2021.

January 4 - January 15: eLearning for All Students

January 13-flex day (asynchronous learning)

There will not be a flex day the week of January 18th

January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

January 19 - 20: Cohort A Students Return to School Face to Face

January 21- 22: Cohort B Students Return to School Face to Face

There will not be a flex day the week of January 25th

January 25 - 25: Cohort A Students Face to Face

January 26: End of 2nd Quarter

January 27 -28: Cohort B Students Face to Face

January 29: Teacher Workday (No School for Students)

Technology Support with Microsoft Teams

Navigating Teams Accessing and Basic Navigation
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Information for PreK Families below.

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Richland One’s Adult Ed Offering Free Courses in January 2021

In January, Richland One’s Adult Education Office will offer four free online courses.

Adults interested in getting their high school diploma, GED (high school diploma equivalency), improving their English as a second language (ESL), or obtaining a WIN Work Readiness Certificate will not have to pay any fees for the spring session.

Adult Ed Director Dr. Marva Coates believes now may be the perfect time for many workers to go back to school to upgrade their employability skills, especially those who may have lost jobs because of the pandemic.

“We realize that money may be tight for many families right now because of the pandemic,” said Dr. Coates. “We want to offer workers the opportunity to sharpen their job skills, improve their chances of getting a job and increase their earnings potential by offering these online courses for free. Richland One’s Adult Ed staff are here to serve the community.”

Online spring classes, which will be offered in the morning and evening, will start on January 11. Prospective students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Adult Education Office by calling (803) 343-2935.

More details about the free courses and other services offered by the department are available at .

Coates added: “We hope as many people as possible with take advantage of this great opportunity. It’s never too late to go back to school.”

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