Restart Strong Plan Phase 3

Update for Richland One Parents

Transitioning to Phase 3

The decision to transition to Phase 3 of our Restart Strong Reopening of Schools Plan was announced on February 26, 2021. This decision was based on trending data in the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control's (SCDHEC) Recent Disease Activity Report and the administration's belief that Richland County would soon reach low levels of disease activity. The SCDHEC report released on March 3, 2021 indicated that Richland County was one of six counties in the state to have achieved Low Recent Disease Activity. Therefore, transitioning to Phase 3 of our plan is appropriate.


Specific information relative to the transitions, which takes into consideration that Richland One will have a Staff Vaccination Day on March 12, is below:


March 8

Elementary school students transition to 5 days a week of in-person instruction.


Middle school students and 9th-grade students transition to 4 days a week of in-person instruction and attend classes March 8-11.


Students in grades 10-12 (hybrid) – Cohort A students attend classes March 8-9 and Cohort B students attend classes March 10-11.


March 12

(Vaccination Day for Staff - All schools and offices will be closed.)

Elementary, middle and high school students will have an asynchronous learning day.


March 15

High school students in grades 10-12 transition to 4 days a week of in-person instruction.


March 22

Middle school students transition to 5 days a week of in-person instruction.


March 29

High school students in grades 9-12 transition to 5 days a week of in-person instruction.


We recognize that some parents will need to make accommodations for their children’s care on Friday, March 12. However, we believe it is in the best interest of everyone to support our teachers and staff in receiving their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. We are grateful for our partnership with Prisma Health, which is providing Richland One Preferred Days for vaccinations on March 12 and 13.


We regret any inconvenience that our change in schedule may cause for families and appreciate your understanding as we do our part to make our schools and community safer for our students and staff.

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Instructional Learning Options in Phase 3

ELEMENTARY LEVEL


In-person Learning

Students attend school in the building 5 days per week. The two-day hybrid learning mode is no longer an option.


eLearning

Students whose parents do not feel comfortable sending them back to school for in-person instruction may continue to learn in the eLearning mode.


MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL


In-person Learning

Students attend school in the building for the number of days designated in the previous section and delineated below:


Middle school students and 9th-grade students attend 4 days per week during the weeks of March 8 and March 15. The two-day hybrid learning mode will no longer be an option for middle and 9th-grade students.


Students in grades 10-12 attend in the hybrid model during the week of March 8 and begin 4 days per week on March 15. Beginning March 15, the two-day hybrid learning mode will no longer be an option for students in grades 10-12.


Middle school students begin 5 days per week in-person instruction on March 22.

High school students begin 5 days per week in-person instruction on March 29.


eLearning

Students whose parents do not feel comfortable sending them back to school for in-person instruction may continue to learn in the eLearning mode.


Some classes are currently being taught through dual modality, meaning the teacher teaches students who attend class in person, as well as students on his/her roster who remain in eLearning. It will be necessary to continue dual modality throughout the remainder of the school year.


Students enrolled in the Virtual School Program (VSP) are not impacted by any of these transitions.

Making Changes in Modes

If a parent/guardian who made the decision for their child to remain in eLearning changes their mind at a later date and wishes for their child to attend school in person, the parent/guardian should contact their child's principal.

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Operational Implications in Phase 3

Since our Restart Strong Reopening of Schools Plan was initially developed by our Restart Strong Task Force, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), based on science and data, has changed. The CDC Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools provides the latest guidance and is linked here.


The following recommended strategies will remain in effect until further notice:


· Richland One employees and staff must continue to wear masks while on school grounds, except when eating. Others who are on school grounds (including but not limited to vendors making deliveries, parents waiting on school grounds for students who walk to school, and emergency personnel who may be called to a sick student or staff member) must wear masks.


· Every effort will be made to practice social distancing of 6 feet in classrooms and other parts of the building. In some instances, however, it will likely be impossible to ensure the recommended 6 feet for social distancing due to the number of students assigned to a class. Desk shields or other barriers will be used when social distancing is not possible. Parents should contact their child’s school for specific information about whether the recommended 6 feet for social distancing can be accommodated in their child’s class(es).


· Buildings will continue to be cleaned and sanitized following CDC guidelines.


· The practices associated with contact tracing, isolation and quarantine protocols will remain in effect. Data will continue to be updated daily on the Richland One COVID-19 Dashboard found here.


· In the event the level of COVID-19 contagion necessitates classroom or school closures and a temporary return to Phase 1 (eLearning), the following “triggers” for discussions will be considered:


o Classroom Closures – Cases of COVID-19* involving three members or no more than 25% of the total number of students and staff attending in-person (whichever is higher) will result in the students and staff in the classroom being quarantined for 14 days. During the quarantine, students will receive instruction through eLearning.


o School Closures – Cases of COVID-19* involving no more than 25% of a school’s in-person population (including students and staff) will result in the school being closed for in-person instruction for a period of at least two weeks, depending on the level of contagion and the number of students and staff involved. During this period, students will receive instruction through eLearning. School closures also may be triggered by the inability of the school to secure qualified substitute teachers or the inability of the school to appropriately staff for essential services, such as custodial support, nutritional support or transportation.


o Principals will notify their respective Executive Directors of Schools at any point a “trigger” is met or if there are other factors believed to be a consideration for closure. The Executive Director of Schools, in collaboration with the Superintendent, will determine if the classroom or school must be closed. Parents will be notified as soon as a decision is made.