HCS prepares for coronavirus should schools have to close


HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – The threat of the coronavirus has school districts across the country preparing for what would happen should schools close.

15 school districts in South Carolina are in a pilot E-Learning program where students would be able to complete lesson plans from home.

The Horry County School district is not one of them.

The district says they have recovered from weeks long closures before. Similar to their response to Hurricane Florence.

However, a COVID-19 closure would be completely different from a natural disaster closure.

“We didn’t have to worry about that when it comes to hurricanes. Isolation, quarantine, not being six feet apart, spreading germs. So, it is a different animal,” said Lisa Bourcier, HCS Director of Strategic Communication.

The district says students who go on medical leave are provided services to work off-campus.

“We’re able to work one-on-one with that student to make sure they’re getting the same education as students in the classroom. So we’ve done this before. This is just a bigger initiative and so those are things we are working through,” said Bourcier.

Home lesson plans could possibly be made and could look different for each grade and school.

“That is something we will continue to work with our learning services department to make sure everybody is getting the equal access to education that everybody deserves,” said Bourcier.

The district has weekly conference calls with DHEC and the State Superintendent’s Office, getting updates on COVID-19.

Right now with no confirmed cases in Horry County or the Pee Dee, the district is running on pandemic operations – like a bad case of the flu.

“We make sure that the students are aware of respiratory etiquette. Making sure that they’re washing their hands. Getting rid of the shareables that we have within the classrooms too. So again, that’s similar to our procedures for the flu, but we want to make sure we continue that and up those tactics as well,” said Bourcier.

The district is also taking inventory and have several vendors to work with for cleaning and sanitizing supplies.

Updates on how HCS is monitoring the virus can be found here.

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