Students ‘excited’ as schools in Marion County shift to hybrid model

Pee Dee

MARION, S.C. (WBTW) — Marion County School District Monday kicked off its hybrid schedule in schools across the county.

“It’s been really smooth,” Easterling Primary School Principal Mykea Jordan said. “I’m so proud of our students… Our teachers have just been excited and kind of pumped about the day.”

The hybrid schedules comes after the district began the year with a mostly-remote format. Students had previously come in for LEAP days and as directed on Wednesday workshops.

“The students are really excited,” Jordan said. “They’ve already met their teachers. They’ve been here certain days. But now they feel I think a part of their class. Because they know they’ll come back tomorrow. They’ll come back again next week.”

The hybrid model is not for those in the Virtual Academy. High school students are in school one day a week by grade. K-8 students are in school two days a week and are separated by cohort. The remainder of students’ learning is done remotely.

“We want our kids in the building,” Jordan said. “We’ve had a lot of planning in place.”

The district is using individual desk dividers to help keep students healthy. It’s also putting electrostatic cleaners to use in its schools to disinfect. Everyone must wear a mask.

MCSD follows DHEC data to monitor COVID levels and trends.

“If the numbers show us that we can increase the days face to face, we will do so,” Deborah Wimberly in Public Relations and Special Projects said. “And if the numbers say maybe we should back off a little bit, we’ll certainly take that into consideration as well.”

As Marion goes hybrid, Florence One Schools looks at the possibility of adding another option for families- five days in school. It currently offers virtual and hybrid formats.

Superintendent Richard O’Malley said during a board meeting Thursday the district will be sending out a survey this week to gage interest.

“One of the reasons why we need to see these numbers is we’re still under DHEC protocols of six feet and social distancing and mask wearing,” he said. “We want to see what that would do for our class sizes and can we accommodate those things?”

Count on News13 for updates.

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