Greenville County Middle Schools to Return to 5-day in-person instruction

  • By cvbizz
  • November 16, 2020
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Beginning next week, Greenville County Schools will start the process of returning middle school students to full-time in-person instruction. After consulting with medical professionals from DHEC and Prisma Health and reviewing our internal metrics, we believe GCS students and staff are safer from COVID-19 while at school than they are outside of school. We also recognize that students perform better academically in a face-to-face setting. Thankfully, GCS has received updated guidance on the use of plexiglass panels in classrooms. DHEC officials say students wearing masks can sit 3-feet apart instead of 6-feet while separated by a plexiglass barrier. It’s important to understand that our decision to return middle school students to 5-day-a-week in-person instruction was not reached overnight. Facilities personnel, including our on-staff architect, analyzed class rosters and classroom spaces at every middle school. These experts, with the help of principals and district administrators, designed a layout for every classroom. Some classes had to be moved to larger spaces, such as auditoriums and cafeterias, where safe social-distancing can occur. To better protect students, some class schedules have been altered to reduce the number of students in the  hallway at one time. In most cases, lunches will be eaten in the classrooms behind the plexiglass barriers, with student encouraged to stay on task while the mask is off and given an opportunity to socialize once the meal is concluded. It is our hope that these and other protocols will lead to a safe and pleasant transition back to 5-day-a-week in-person instruction for middle school students and teachers.

Please note that we are currently developing plans to increase the amount of in-person instruction for high school students. We are currently at 40-percent in-person attendance for high schoolers. Our plan is to increase this to at least 60-percent by the start of the second semester.

The transition to full-time, face-to-face instruction for middle schoolers will follow this schedule:

Sixth grade: Week of Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving Week)

  • ALL color groups attend in-person on Monday and Tuesday (November 23-24)
  • Weeks of Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14
  • ALL color groups attend in-person Monday through Thursday
  • E-learning for sixth graders on Friday (in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it begins Friday, Dec. 4. Schools will identify students and notify those parents whose child need to be in attendance.)

Seventh grade: Week of Nov. 30

  • Attendance Plan 2 on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 (students attend by color group)
  • ALL color groups attend in-person Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 2-3
  • E-learning on Fridays, plus in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it
  • Weeks of Dec. 7 and Dec. 14
  • ALL color groups attend Monday through Thursday
  • E-learning on Fridays, plus in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it

Eighth grade: Week of Dec. 7

  • Attendance Plan 2 on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 7-8 students attend by color group)
  • ALL color groups attend in-person Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 9-10
  • E-learning on Fridays, plus in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it

Week of Dec. 14

  • ALL color groups attend Monday through Thursday
  • E-learning on Fridays, plus in-person remediation for ALL middle school students who need it
  • Winter break: student holiday (Monday, Dec. 21 through Friday, Jan. 1)

Beginning Jan. 4, 2021: Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students attend in-person school five days a week until further notice


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