Marlboro County School District to kick off school year Wednesday

Pee Dee

BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) — Marlboro County School District is getting ready to welcome students back for their first day of the school year Wednesday.

“We are super excited and we just want everything to be perfect and welcoming for our students,” Bennettsville Intermediate School Principal Crystal Halma said. “We’ve missed our students. We know they’ve missed us. And this is their home away from home.”

All hands were on deck Monday at Bennettsville Intermediate- custodians were cleaning. Teachers were sanitizing classrooms. Families were picking up devices to use.

A lot, though, had already been done. Social distancing stickers and cones were laid out to control hallway traffic. Hand sanitizing stations were out. Water fountains were taped off, among other measures.

“Our instructional coaches have been going in today, planning with teachers,” Halma said. “Making sure they’re prepared to deliver instruction online as well as delivering instruction to students that are in front of them each day starting Wednesday.”

Families had the option to choose the entirely online virtual academy.

Students opting to attend school face-to-face will be in the classroom for at least one day a week to start the year.

“For those students the teachers see are needing a little additional help, they’ll be invited in for more than one day a week- as room is available,” Marlboro County School District Superintendent Dr. Gregory McCord said. “So it’s kind of, we’re adopting a personalized learning model.”

The superintendent added that the opportunity for more classroom time will be especially geared toward younger kids.

“We believe that having students in school in grades K-3 as much as possible is going to benefit them because they’re in the developing stages of learning,” he said.

He said the days student’s aren’t in school physically will be doing essentially the same work as the virtual learning students.

“We really and truly have a great opportunity to move our kids so much further this year,” Halma said. “That’s how we’re approaching it. We’re looking at every individual child. What their needs are specifically, how can we help them both distance learning and while they’re in the building.”

The district held its LEAP days last week.

District leaders will continue to look at data and assess the situation, making changes when needed or possible.

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