By Annie Rigby
On Sunday, March 15, Governor Henry McMaster held a news conference addressing the residents of South Carolina announcing his executive order and plans to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). He stated all schools, colleges, technical colleges and universities statewide are to close beginning Monday, March 16, through at least April 5.
Governor McMaster stated, “School closings are inconvenient, we know that. They’re inconvenient for everybody, for working parents, for families as well as employers.” Molly Spearman, S.C. Education Superintendent, stated principals, superintendents and teachers are working together to prepare to continue instruction for students to be sure those who need to be fed will be fed.
The Horry County School District Superintendent, Dr. Rick Maxey, held a news conference on Sunday, March 15, to provide information and the plan to work with teachers and school staff to prepare lesson plans. Teachers reported to work on Tuesday, March 17, to prepare instructional plans for the students. Students/parents will receive the assignments via email or through the portal through the internet to keep their assignments up-to-date. Students and teachers may use Skype and Facetime if necessary to provide students with continued instruction time. Students in grades 3 through 12 can pick up a digital device at the school where the students attend; parents/guardians will need to present a driver’s license or another form of identification. Parents are required to sign for the device and given the option of insuring the device for $12. Students who have access to devices at home may waive this option. The HCS is working with companies that provide internet access to have a reduced price or free for students who need the internet to complete their class assignments.
For more information and updates for school news visit the HCS website https://www.horrycountyschools.net/covid19. Check the website often as updates are made daily.
“The South Carolina Department of Education, Office of Health and Nutrition has been granted a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture that allows our summer feeding options to be used during this school closure,” Spearman said. “We have also received a waiver for flexibility, meals can be the grab and go type and will either have you come by and pick up the meals or we’ll be delivering those to you on our school buses.” These waivers will allow communities to provide nutritious meals to students who may not have access to them outside of the school day. Applications to begin that service are already being screened by our office and will be received promptly in the morning.
Loris Elementary School will provide breakfasts and lunches Monday through Thursday’s with a pick up time of 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. which began on Monday, March 16, and Thursdays will consist of grab-and-go bags of one lunch and one breakfast and lunch for Friday. The grab-and-go-style meals, students must be present to pick up the individual meals.