Florence 1, Darlington County announce two weeks of virtual learning to follow break

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Two large school districts in the Pee Dee announced they’ll be going all virtual for two weeks when they return from winter break.

Florence Ones Schools and Darlington County School District both made the announcement New Year’s Eve as COVID cases in the area continue to cause concern.

Athletics and extra-curricular activities have also been called off for the two week period in both districts.

Wilson High School senior Iyannah Brown said she prefers to be in school, but plans to push through.

“I was a student that was going five days a week. So I wanted to go to school,” she said. “I personally cannot learn on the computer. And I can’t sit there for eight hours and just look at a screen.”

Parents will also need to make some adjustments. Breanna McDonald is a single mom of three in Florence. She was glad the district was taking safety seriously, but admitted the change would be an inconvenience.

“You’re always having to adjust and readjust,” she said. “I got to figure out like what am I going to do? I can’t be taking days off from work just to be home and be with my children because I’m starting a new job.”

Other districts around the region and state have made similar calls as COVID cases surge. F1S and Darlington both say they consulted the medical community in making their decisions.

Teachers in Florence praised the decision to go virtual for two weeks after break and feel it will help keep the community healthy.

“Our thankfulness this morning and today is very great,” F1S teacher Robin Bowman said. “We are so appreciative of our Superintendent Dr. O’Malley and our school board for really, really looking at what is going on.”

Bowman added that while teachers typically prefer to teach face-to-face, they’ll adjust for the next couple weeks.

“We are all going to do our best in the next two weeks with this virtual and remote learning that is coming up,” Bowman said. “To work as hard as we can to reach our students and do our best to engage them and get them through this time.”

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