JOHNSONVILLE, SC (WBTW) — Florence County School District Five closed enrollment for virtual learning this fall Wednesday.
The district needed the final decisions so that it could plan scheduling and teacher placement.
Superintendent Randy Smiley said as of last Friday 37 percent of the district was going virtual. He said that was a higher number than he initially anticipated, and he expected it to increase by Wednesday as more families decided.
“That enables to lower the number of students in the school and therefore enable us to socially distance better for those children who are coming to school,” Superintendent Smiley said.
After Wednesday, families won’t be able to change their enrollment choice of in-person or virtual until the end of the first nine weeks.
Wendy Parrott chose for her two school-aged children to go in-person to Johnsonville Elementary School.
“Basically because of my job and I just feel like they’ll get their education better listening to a teacher than they do me,” Parrott said. “I know we have to socially distance but I still want them to have the interaction.”
Another parent in the district decided to go with in-person because of internet concerns.
“One of the biggest fears I’ve had was if she did do virtual and our internet was out for a couple days, which it does sometimes, she wouldn’t be able to send her assignments in and she’d fail,” Nikki Hanna said.
The South Carolina Department of Education was not able to provide an estimate or count of students statewide doing virtual learning this fall.
School begins for Florence County School District Five Sept. 8.
Making the Grade Special Coverage
- Some parents worry as virtual learning lingers; advocates say it’s too soon to reopen
- How new guidelines for school buses would work
- DSS talks back-to-school for foster children as family voices concerns
- Concerns arise over mental health, abuse during school closures
- Top pediatricians testify some schools cannot fully reopen
- Comparing school reopening plans across Southeast hot spot states