Board Approves Return to Remote and Hybrid Learning Due to Increase in Covid-19 Quarantines, Substitute Shortage
During its Tuesday, November 17, 2020, regular meeting, members of the Aiken County Board of Education unanimously approved a return to remote learning for all Aiken County Public School District face-to-face students beginning Monday, November 23, 2020, and continuing through Wednesday, November 25, 2020.
Following the Thanksgiving Break on Monday, November 30, 2020, the board approved a return of all high school and middle school face-to-face students to the District’s hybrid learning model – featuring Blue and Red student cohorts – with elementary school face-to-face students moving to four-day in-person instruction Monday through Thursday.
All high school and middle school students participating in in-person instruction will remain in the hybrid learning model through Friday, December 18, 2020. Elementary school face-to-face students will remain in four-day in-person instruction through Friday, December, 18, 2020.
“The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and families remains our number one priority,” stated Aiken County Superintendent King Laurence. “These changes in our schedule, while not ideal, are necessary at this time both to support safety and to relieve some of the logistical stress we are experiencing with the recent rise in the number of student and staff quarantines.”
Prior to approving a return to remote and hybrid in-person instruction, board members received information on higher positive Covid-19 cases among both students and employees, a significant rise in student and staff quarantine numbers – a total of 1,267 for the week of November 8 through November 14 – as well as increased difficulties in securing adequate numbers of substitute teachers. Superintendent Laurence recommended the changes in schedule to board members following input from the school district’s Back-to-School Advisory Committee.
In other board business Tuesday, new board member Dr. Patricia Hanks was sworn into office as a representative of District Four and attendance Area 2, while Dr. John Bradley was elected as the board’s interim vice-chair. A new board chair and vice chair will be selected by the board during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, December 8, 2020.
The newest member of the Aiken County Board of Education is Dr. Patricia Hanks. She represents District 4 and attendance Area 2 in North Augusta. Pictured, from left, are Dr. Hanks’ best friend, Mrs. Earline Broden, Dr. Patricia Hanks, and attorney Patrick Hanks, Dr. Hanks’ husband.
Pictured during Tuesday’s Aiken County Board of Education oath-taking ceremony, from left, are Aiken County Board of Education Members Cameron Nuessle (District 9/Attendance Area 1), Sandra Shealey (District 1/Attendance Area 4), and Dr. John Bradley (District 8/Attendance Area 1). For full information on the School Board please click here to see the Board's webpage on acpsd.net.
LINK TO DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: 2020 PR BOE APPROVES RET TO REMOTE & HYBRID LEARNING