Making the Grade: FCSD5 announces start date, releases school instruction options

Making The Grade

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Florence School District 5 released their plans so far Tuesday evening for the upcoming school year.

After surveying parents, the district said there was no single plan that met the needs of everyone being impacted.

As of now, FCSD5 announced their start date will be September 8. They also announced that they will have two schooling options available to parents; a regular five day face-to-face option and a virtual option.

The virtual option will have online instruction from teachers at the child’s school as well as other materials that students will be given to complete.

The system that will be used is Schoology. With this option, students will have ongoing communication with their teachers.

The district recently obtained a grant to supply students in grades 5-12 with a laptop. They also announced that they have approximately 250 laptops available for students to use in grades 4k-4.

Students who choose virtual learning for the first semester will be able to switch to face-to-face instruction after the completion of a nine-week term.

Those who choose the regular five day face-to-face option will see some added safety measures.

Included in the changes will be: staff training, an additional nurse, transportation, food service procedures and updated school protocols.

In a release, the school district said in the event of students participating in face-to-face instruction being exposed to COVID-19, parents will be notified and instruction will transition to virtual for 14 days. During this period, attendance would be measured on the student’s participation in online instruction.


  • The release said training will be included for all staff members. They will be trained in proper safety protocols, including screening questions, social distancing and proper methods of sanitizing their work area.
  • Custodial staff will be trained on proper use of disinfectants and sanitation equipment. They will follow a schedule for disinfecting and cleaning shared areas.
  • Bus drivers will be trained on how to best social distance while on a bus and proper sanitizing procedures.


  • Transportation procedures for buses, including cleaning and operation guidelines will be based on recommendations from the Department of Education. Buses will be sanitized two times a day. Buses will be run at 50% capacity and only one student will be allowed per seat, unless they are from the same household.

Food Services:

  • Breakfast and lunch will be served in the classroom for all students except 4k and 5k. They will have their meals in the cafeteria.


  • Student who choose to participate in the virtual learning option will still be able to participate in any scheduled school activities.
  • Students with special education needs will still be able to receive speech, occupational and physical therapy as written in their IEP at the school.

Guidelines for Schools:

(These recommendations come from the released statement and may change based on guidance from the SCDHEC and SDE)

  • Student movement will be minimized throughout the day. Hallway use will be restricted by the staggered release of classes.
  • Signage will be posted at entrances of each school as recommended by SCDHEC
  • Covid-19 screening questions will be used daily with staff and students.
  • Temperatures of students and staff will be checked daily as they enter the building.
  • Access Control Measures (Designated entrances and exits, one-way traffic in halls will be implemented.)
  • Student activities where students share resources (crayons, pencils, books) will be minimized.
  • Media Center – Books touched by students and not checked out will be placed in a designated area for 48 hours before returning to shelves. Books checked out will stay out of circulation 72 hours.
  • Recess – Children will be socially distanced at recess and masks will not be required during this time.
  • Students receiving special education services will be able to receive those services in their special services classroom.
  • Students and staff will use hand sanitizer when arriving and exiting the classrooms.
  • Students will be allowed to participate in music and physical education classes. Students must socially distance in these classes as much as possible and wear masks when this is not possible.
  • A cleaning schedule will be used by custodians for cleaning of playground equipment, restrooms, high touch surfaces and other common areas throughout the day. Classrooms will be sanitized every day.
  • Table and desks will be cleaned between classes.
  • Faculty, staff, and students will wear face coverings/masks in all areas of the school except in specific situations where social distancing can be observed. For example, during PE, in the gym, when students have sufficient space to practice social distancing, masks would not be required. If your child does not have a mask, one will be provided for them.
  • Visitors into the school will be screened using Covid-19 questions, receive a temperature check and must wear a mask.
  • Food Deliveries into the school will not be allowed at this time.
  • No field Trips will be allowed at the present time.
  • Water Fountains will be turned off. Water will be made available to students

For the latest information on how other school districts are opening and how the state is handling school reopening, visit our Making the Grade section.


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