By Annie Rigby
Elementary and Middle schools across Horry County opened for the LEAP Days program from Thursday, Aug. 20, to Wednesday, Aug. 26, for the five day assessment Learn, Evaluate, Analyze and Prepare program (LEAP). This includes Loris Elementary, Daisy Elementary and Loris Middle School.
Daisy Elementary began the school year with Leap Days welcoming students to the classrooms on Thursday, Aug. 20. Josh Todd, principal, and Sandy Carland, assistant principal, created an instructional information video to help parents and students understand what to expect as school begins each day at 7:30 a.m. The video can be viewed on their Facebook page.
LEAP is a program used as an educational effort funded by the South Carolina General Assembly; LEAP was created to allow teachers to help students in 4K through 8th grade who showed learning gaps and low engagement in spring of 2020. Teachers also selected special education students and English as a second language learners for the five day class time. The five days were brick and mortar learning. Each student attended whether they chose virtual/online learning or in person class time.
Horry County Schools expects to open for the students to return to school on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The determination of in person learning will be evaluated utilizing the CDC and DHEC guidelines and the infection rate. If the COVID infection rate is still high, students will be expected to learn through virtual class time, if the infection rate is medium students who are not signed up for virtual school will attend face-to-face learning.
Daisy Elementary and Loris Elementary students will eat breakfast and lunch in the classroom. Outdoor time will be different this year. The students will go outside when the weather permits, however, they will not be able to play on the playground equipment though activities are planned.
Face coverings are mandatory. If a student does not have a face mask one will be provided by the school.
Upon arrival there is a car rider entrance and a bus rider entrance. Car riders exit the vehicle by unbuckling their seatbelt and opening and closing the car door. Todd asked parents to work with their child and practice getting out of the car. Due to social distancing protocol teachers will not be able to open the car doors. Students will follow the lion paws on the ground and on the hallway floors to keep the social distancing rules. Parents will not be allowed to enter the building to take their student to their classroom. Todd said, “Rest assured we have teachers and staff guiding students to their classroom.”
Carland stated that bus riders exiting the bus stay six feet apart and follow the lion paws on sidewalks to the building. She said, “Watch the paws in the hallways.”
Water fountains are turned off and marked off with yellow tape. Students are asked not to touch anything that has covers. A bottle of water will be provided to each student.
Classroom desks are set up for social distancing at six feet apart. Each student will have their own set of supplies (scissors, pencils, ear buds) in the desk with a poly folder that remains at school and can be wiped off. Classrooms will have additional sanitation supplies, wipes, hand sanitizer and hand soap to practice the clean hands policy.
The Horry County School District website stated, “HCS is excited to welcome 2,581 elementary and middle school students as they begin the five day LEAP Days. We have been working hard to prepare our school for our students. We can’t wait to see you!”
LEAP will look similar to the first few days of school as teachers will review and assess the students learning needs. Due to the coronavirus, children were taken from the classrooms in March. LEAP days will be beneficial to students.