School district makes plans

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

COUNTY — On Monday, school district officials announced their latest responses to COVID-19, which includes student prescription medicine and Chromebook pickups, as well as plans to thoroughly clean school buildings.

School District of Pickens County spokesman John Eby announced late Monday that schools will be open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday to allow students to pick up medication and belongings. Students and parents will be accompanied by a staff member when entering the building and should be prepared for potential wait times, as the district limits the number of visitors in the building at a time. School staff will deliver medication directly to severely medically fragile students on Wednesday.

As far as instruction is concerned, Eby said teachers in the school district will use a combination of live video, online assignments and paper assignment packets to continue instruction during the closure. The amount of online or paper assignments will vary by class and grade level.

The district said teachers would be receiving training on WebEx software Wednesday, allowing them to communicate with their students through live video. Each of the student Chromebooks is equipped with the software. Teachers of kindergarten through second grade will contact parents directly to determine which families prefer paper or online assignments. Instructional services will be monitoring the delivery of instruction and working to make resources available to teachers and students.

During the next several days, the district plans to gear up for full implementation of its plans, and teachers will be continuing to train and prepare. Plans are expected to be fully put into practice by next Monday.

In the area of food service, the district will be offering free breakfast and lunch for anyone under the age of 18 at Central Academy of the Arts, Chastain Road Elementary School, Dacusville Elementary School, McKissick Academy of Science and Technology, Pickens Elementary and West End Elementary. Breakfast will be served from 7-9 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. The student must be present for the meal to be served.

The district plans to work out a plan for delivering food via school buses, expected to start next Monday. More about the delivery plan will be announced later this week.

The school district is also in the process of buying enough mobile internet hotspots for families with home internet access, and students can access school Wi-Fi from school parking lots, including Daniel High and Six Mile Elementary.

All activities, including sports, extracurricular events and field trips, have been canceled as long as school is not taking place, with decisions on future activities to be made at a later date.