NOTE: A Spanish language version of this story is attached below.
WEST COLUMBIA, SC. — At a special called meeting of the Lexington Two Board of Trustees on October 12, Superintendent Dr. William B. James Jr. presented a plan for the district’s next phase in the return to in-person instruction five days a week, beginning next month with select groups of students.
The plan, OK'd by the board, depends on a shift to a moderate to low rating for Lexington County on SC DHEC’s Recent Disease Activity report on COVID-19. Provided that the rating is moderate to low, the first group of Lexington Two students will return on Thursday, November 12. These students include:
- 4K-2nd grades
- K-12 self-contained special education
- 6th grade
- Innovation Center students, who will attend career/technology courses, as well as academic courses at the home high schools
It is important to note that if Lexington County is rated high in DHEC’s Recent Disease Activity report on COVID-19 when the board meets at its regular monthly meeting on October 27, or in DHEC’s two-week update in early November, then students will continue in their previously selected hybrid or full-time Virtual Academy instruction programs. The next tentative return date would then become Monday, November 30.
The plan does not impact full-time Lexington Two Virtual Academy students, who will continue in their current instructional program. Requests to move back to in-person instruction -- or, move from in-person to the Virtual Academy -- may be made at the end of a quarter for elementary and middle students, and at the end of the semester for high school students. Such requests will only be considered on a space-available basis.
The district has ordered 6,000 additional Plexiglass dividers for student desks, to supplement social distancing to the maximum extent possible within classrooms. Masks will continue to be a requirement of students, staff and visitors on district property, on district transportation, and while attending a school-related activity.
A phased-in approach to a 5-day, in-person return to classes gives schools time to adjust to serving more students in the building and on district transportation, while phasing in select student groups in need of face-to-face time while carefully monitoring the spread of COVID-19.
If select student groups are able to return November 12, the district will assess the success of this next phase, and while monitoring COVID-19 cases, the district is expected to phase in other groups of elementary, middle and high school students around natural academic calendar breaks for Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Some of these students may begin to transition sooner than their classmates as the district focuses on specific groups of students. No dates have been announced at this time.