HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – The decision from Horry County Schools to allow virtual parents to opt back to in-person learning for their students resulted in controversy from several parents.
The announcement on Monday at the HCS meeting comes after the district heard from several parents who realized they couldn’t provide the support needed to assist their virtual student.
Parents also expressed the virtual program is not what they expected. On Tuesday of the second week of school, parents and students continue to experience virtual issues, but said allowing them to opt to in-person learning is not the solution they want.
“The issue with the virtual learning right now is that it is not being taught,” said Kimberly Williams, a high school virtual learning parent.
Horry County Schools announced that virtual learning parents can opt back to in-person learning until Sept. 20. In-person learning parents can also opt to virtual if they choose.
The decision comes after some parents voiced concerns with virtual learning after week one of the school year.
“They don’t have any Google Meet times scheduled, and right now, she’s failing. It’s a week into school, and that is not her. She’s an A/B student,” Williams said.
Williams says while her 9th-grade daughter likes virtual learning, she has to teach herself. Virtual parents say there’s a lack of communication and no structure.
“Elementary and middle schools are taught and doing the zoom meetings and stuff like that, but high school is just left out to dry,” Williams said.
Kimberly Williams also works in the healthcare field and questions if the number of cases will go up if more kids go back. The district said the classrooms that receive additional students who opted out of virtual learning will still be required to follow social distancing guidelines.
“Acceptance back into the brick and mortar school will be based on space availability and the ability to maintain social distancing inside the classrooms,” HCS spokesperson Lisa Bourcier, said.
Some parents say they want other solutions to fix the virtual learning program.
“I don’t feel comfortable letting her go back to school, but I do think they need to figure something out other than just letting all the students go back to school at this time,” Williams said.
News13 reached out to HCS and a spokesperson released this statement:
“We have heard from several parents whose personal situations have changed and would like their child to go back into a classroom, parents who found out that they do not have the support they need at home to assist their virtual student(s), and parents who feel the virtual program was not what they thought and would like their student(s) to return to a classroom.”
On Wednesday, an Horry County Schools spokesperson said the district plans to reach out to current virtual students and parents with more information and get an estimate of students wanting to change to a brick and mortar schedule.
Students should remain in the virtual program until further notice.