By Ruben Lowman
Horry County Schools will now begin announcing their learning plan later in the week after state health officials altered the date their data is released in order to provide school districts with the most up-to-date information and better protect their students, faculty and parents.
This Monday, HCS posted on social media that the instructional model over the next two weeks would continue with the hybrid learning plan that the district has been following since the 2020-21 school year began.
Later in the day, after South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control changed the day it updates its information, the district removed the post.
County officials said they would now be waiting until Thursday each week to announce what the learning plan would be in the upcoming weeks.
The updates are delivered using the district’s weekly instructional meter, which displays the different instructional methods depending on the level of COVID-19 spread throughout the county.
The level of COVID-19 spread is determined using data from DHEC’s COVID-19 Disease Activity Report that was released every Monday but is now released on Thursdays.
A high spread level would mean the district would have to revert back to a fully distance learning plan like the county experienced when the coronavirus pandemic first hit earlier this year.
A low spread level would allow all the students in the district to return to a traditional classroom setting five days a week, but Horry County has yet to fall under the threshold necessary for that.
Over the first month of school so far, HCS has operated under the medium spread level, so the district’s students have been educated using the hybrid learning plan.