Planning Our Safe Return to School in August, 2021

  • Our Back-to-School Planning Team, made up of more than 100 internal and external stakeholders prepared a Back-to-School Plan for community consideration. We are grateful for the input received on the draft through  community participation in our survey. Your feedback was thoughtfully considered by the Planning Team and, where possible, has been incorporated into the Back-to-School Plan included here, which was approved by our Board of Trustees during their Tuesday, June 15, meeting. This plan will be updated regularly based on modifications, additions, and deletions in accordance with guidance from the State Department of Education, SCDHEC, the CDC, or other state and local officials, and in concert with stakeholder feedback. At a minimum, this document will be updated every six months. 

    The last update to this plan was published August 30, 2021. 

Back-to-School Plan

  • The full plan for school reopening is included below and is organized by major sections to help families find the information they need. In the introduction, you'll find the Overview and Guiding Values, South Carolina Senate Bill 705, and details about our 2021-2022 Calendar. The plan is divided into major sections, Health & Safety Protocols, Instruction, Transportation, Meal Services, and Communication. These sections represent the focus areas of the Planning Team.

    The fully-accessible version of the plan, with clickable tabs for each section, is below on the left. This version can be translated into the language preference of families by clicking on the language translation icon that's always on the top left corner of our website (see photo below). Screen readers and other assistive technologies are also able to be used with the accessible version of the Back-to-School Plan. 

    Translate Button Location

     A print-ready copy of the plan is included below on the right. 

Back-to-School Plan (accessible)

      Introduction

      • Health & Safety for Our Road Back to School

        The information contained in this document is accurate as of the publish date, August 30, 2021.

        Modifications, additions, and deletions may be made in accordance with guidance provided by the

        South Carolina Department of Education, SCDHEC, CDC, or other state and local officials, and in concert with stakeholder feedback. At a minimum, this document will be updated every six months.

        Overview

        Since Governor McMaster officially closed schools on March 16, 2020, Orangeburg County School District has been evaluating the safety and educational options within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        We acknowledge and appreciate the work that OCSD staff and students did to fully engage in eLearning during the fourth quarter of the 2019-2020 school year and the resilience that they’ve shown throughout 2020-2021.

        Our primary goal moving forward is for offices, schools, students, and staff to engage in the highest degree of educational services possible within a school environment that reduces the threat of COVID-19. We believe that goal can be met by focusing on three priorities: 1) Having a comprehensive plan for face-to-face instruction that meets the needs of students and families, with a limited option for eLearning through Orangeburg Online; 2) Implementing enhanced safety and sanitation protocols while students and staff are on school campuses; 3) Maximizing our schedule, building capacity, and financial and human resources to ensure students receive high quality instruction.

        In the fall of 2020 we re-opened to students in a Hybrid Learning Model while providing remote learning simultaneously to students at home through Orangeburg Online. By April 2021, we were fully opened five days a week to students enrolled in face-to-face instruction, though many students remained enrolled in Orangeburg Online. In August 2021, we intend to continue with five day face-to-face instruction, with fewer than 5% of our students enrolled in Orangeburg Online (the maximum allowable per state regulations).

        As part of the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, more commonly known as ESSER, school districts were required, among other mandates, to post Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plans publicly by June 24, 2021.

         

        In June, 2021, Orangeburg County School District solicited community input on our plans for the safe return to in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year. All feedback shared was thoughtfully-reviewed and incorporated, where feasible, before the plans were presented on June 15, 2021, and posted to our District’s website.

         

        As previously stated, the published plan would be regularly updated based on modifications, additions, and deletions in accordance with guidance from South Carolina’s State Department of Education (SCDE), SCDHEC, the CDC, or other state and local officials, and in concert with stakeholder feedback.

         

        Proviso 1.108 also known as the Mask Mandate Prohibition was adopted on June 25, 2021, by the South Carolina’s General Assembly as part of the 2021-22 Appropriations Bill. The Proviso reads: No school district, or any of its schools, may use any funds appropriated or authorized pursuant to this act to require that its students and/or employees wear a facemask at any of its education facilities. This prohibition extends to the announcement or enforcement of any such policy.

        The vaccine has given many employees, students and families greater peace of mind about returning to in-person learning, and we encourage all who are eligible for the vaccine to strongly consider becoming vaccinated. With elementary school students ineligible for vaccination due to their age, health and safety protocols remain important throughout our District. Additionally, the use of face coverings by students and staff within school facilities and on school buses remains a recommendation of state and federal public health officials.

         

        After reviewing the South Carolina State Department of Education’s clarification and guidance on the legislature’s Mask Mandate Prohibition (Proviso 1.108), an update to our Back to School Plan has been shared with our Board of Trustees (August 10, 2021) and the updated plan posted to our website (August 13), which is aimed to clarify how our district plans to abide by the existing provisos while ensuring health and safety for our students, staff and families. An additional update was made on August 30, noting a change in the State Department’s enforcement of masks on school buses, which did not impact our practices since OCSD was already requiring face coverings on buses. 

         

        Updates from the previously published plan include:

         

        • Face masks will be strongly encouraged for all students and staff throughout their school and work day in Orangeburg County School District.

        • Face masks will be required for students and staff while on a school bus.

        o  As coronavirus numbers increased throughout the state during the first several weeks of the 2021-2022 school year, South Carolina’s State Department of Education is enforcing again the CDC’s order requiring the use of face coverings by students and staff on state owned and operated school buses. Since the much debated “Mask Mandate Prohibition” (Proviso 1.108) did not extend to school buses, our District was already requiring face coverings on school buses.

        • Face masks will be required for visitors to any school, office, or on-campus event held during the school day.

        o Proviso 1.108 only speaks to the prohibition of a mask mandate for students and staff. According to the SCDE, because the proviso is silent to visitors, districts may choose to enforce such a policy.

        • Face masks will be required for students and staff in the nurse’s station and in any area designated to await pickup due to illness.

        o The SCDE has advised that face coverings may be required by students, staff, and visitors in healthcare areas of school facilities. Locations designated for healthcare, testing, or for awaiting pickup due to illness are considered healthcare facilities. Infection control policies and practices for these areas are held to healthcare facility standards and expectations, which may differ from policies of non-healthcare school facilities. Individuals being assessed, tested, or dismissed from attendance due to respiratory symptoms should be required to wear a face covering while in these designated healthcare areas and also when transitioning to/from these areas.

        ·      Visitors will be restricted past the front office of schools and visitors will be required to wear a face mask.

         

        Legislative actions, such as the Face Mask Mandate Prohibition (Proviso 1.108), as well as S.704, which requires schools to offer five days of in-person instruction; and Proviso 1.103, which limits the number of students who may participate in virtual learning to no more than 5% of the district’s total student population (by withholding 47.22% of funding for every student enrolled in a virtual format beyond the allowable 5%), have made planning a safe return to school difficult.

        Undoubtedly, the coronavirus pandemic has presented very challenging circumstances for school districts, students and families throughout our state and nation. Particularly with the new Delta variant, we recognize the growing concerns of parents and guardians within our own community as we approach the start of a new school year. While in South Carolina, legislation has limited our ability to require public health-recommended prevention measures such as mask wearing, as well as our ability to serve the needs of all students and families within our own communities through hybrid scheduling and online learning, our plan is to honor our commitment to health and safety to the fullest extent practical for teaching and learning and as allowable under the law.

         

        Please be assured that our district remains committed to maintaining health and safety for students and staff while continuing to provide high-quality instructional offerings unique to the students and families that we serve. We hope that this information provides clarity as to how our District will abide by existing legislation while ensuring safety for our students, employees and parents.

         

        Guiding Values

        Orangeburg County School District’s motto is “We Are One.” Our core values are grounded in a commitment to provide meaningful experiences that shape students’ vision for the future and a focus on continuous improvement through collaboration.

         To that end, as we develop our fall reopening plan, we want to ensure our community of the following guiding principles:

        ·      Decisions will maximize face-to-face instruction to best meet the needs of students, families, and staff and will take into account the changing complexity of the health threat we face, as required by Senate Bill 704 included on the following page.

        ·      Safety protocols implemented within offices and schools while students and staff are on campus will be based on the latest recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control  and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control,  and compliant to any applicable provisions of the law.

        South Carolina Senate Bill 704

        HOUSE AMENDMENTS AMENDED                                                        April 20, 2021

        1. 704 Introduced by Senators Hembree, Massey and Malloy S. Printed 4/20/21--S.

        Read the first time April 6, 2021.

        A JOINT RESOLUTION

        TO PROVIDE FOR A RETURN TO FIVE-DAY, IN-PERSON CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION FOR THE 2020-2021 AND 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR, AND TO SUSPEND THE EARNINGS LIMITATION UNDER CERTAIN TERMS AND FOR CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

        Amend Title To Conform

        Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

        SECTION    1.    For the 2020-2021 School Year, every school district in the State must offer five-day, in-person classroom instruction to students no later than April 26, 2021. For the 2021-2022 School Year, every school district in the State must offer five-day, in-person classroom instruction to students.

        SECTION    2.    (A)    Due to the significant health threat and risks associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, the earnings limitation imposed pursuant to Section 9-1-1790 does not apply to a retired member of the South Carolina Retirement System to the extent provided in subsection (B) if the member:

        (1)    retired on or before April 1, 2019; and

        (2)    returns to otherwise covered employment in the K-12 public education system.

        (B)    A retired member who meets the qualifications of subsection (A) may be hired and return to employment covered by the system and earn up to $50,000 annually without affecting the monthly retirement allowance that the member is receiving from the system. No retired member participating under this section may be compensated for an employment period exceeding 36 consecutive months. An employer shall notify the system of the engagement of a retirement member to perform services, and if an employer fails to notify the system of the engagement of a retired member to perform services, then the employer shall reimburse the system for all benefits wrongly paid to the retired member. Nothing in this joint resolution may be construed to require an employer to hire a person after that person has retired.

        SECTION 3.    (A)    Due to the need for ongoing, high-quality instruction to address learning disruptions associated with COVID-19 for the 2021-2022 School Year, school districts are prohibited from assigning a teacher to deliver instruction to students simultaneously in-person and virtually, an approach often referred to as "dual-modality instruction," unless it is reasonable and necessary due to extreme and unavoidable circumstances in order to ensure that all students have access to highly qualified instructors.SECTION 3.    (A)    Due to the need for ongoing, high-quality instruction to address learning disruptions associated with COVID-19 for the 2021-2022 School Year, school districts are prohibited from assigning a teacher to deliver instruction to students simultaneously in-person and

        (B)    In the event that a school district determines it is necessary for a teacher to deliver dual-modality instruction, the school district must provide additional compensation to the teacher.

        (C)    For any teacher assigned by a school district to dual-modality instruction, the school district must provide the State Department of Education with the name of the teacher, school where the teacher is employed, and subject area in which the teacher was hired to teach. The State Department of Education shall report the information to the General Assembly at the completion of the school year.

        SECTION    4.    This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

         

        Proviso 1.103: Public School Virtual Program Funding

         

        For Fiscal Year 2021-22, school districts shall be permitted to offer a virtual education program for up to five percent of its student population based on the most recent 135 day ADM count without impacting any state funding. The Department of Education shall establish guidelines for the virtual program and parameters students must meet in order to participate in the virtual program. School districts must submit their plans for the virtual program to the State Board of Education for approval.

        School districts offering a virtual program must report their ADM counts for students participating in their virtual program and the number of students participating face to face for the 5th, 45th, 90th, and 135th day to the Department of Education.

        For every student participating in the virtual program above the five percent threshold, the school district will not receive 47.22% of the State per pupil funding provided to that district as reported in the latest Revenue and Fiscal Affairs revenue per pupil report pursuant to Proviso 1.3. This amount shall be withheld from the EFA portion of the State Aid to Classrooms district allocation and, if necessary, the state minimum teacher salary schedule portion of State Aid to Classrooms.

        The five percent threshold shall not apply to students whose IEP or 504 status requires their participation in a program administered in a virtual format.

         

        Proviso 1.108: Mask Mandate Prohibition

         

        No school district, or any of its schools, may use any funds appropriated or authorized pursuant to this act to require that its students and/or employees wear a facemask at any of its education facilities. This prohibition extends to the announcement or enforcement of any such policy.

          

        2021-2022 School Calendar 

        Accelerating student learning is important to our District. Please note in our 2021-2022 school calendar, the optional Extended Learning Days, August 2-6, September 11 and 25, October 9 and 23, November 6, January 8 and 22, February 12 and 26, March 12 and 26, and April 9, planned to help advance learning and provide intervention that may be necessary as a result of COVID. Transportation and registration information will be shared in the coming weeks. These Extended Learning Days were overwhelmingly supported by educators in a survey. Teachers participating in these additional non-contracted days will be compensated according to District guidelines.

      Health & Safety Protocols

      • Health & Safety PROTOCOLS

        The situation surrounding COVID-19 changes on a daily basis and is likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we cannot fully predict how the virus will directly impact our community next year. It is with that unpredictability in mind that all employees and students age 12 and above are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Our District will continue to follow and adhere to public health recommendations regarding the spread of coronavirus within our community and make school model decisions in the best interest of students, families, employees and the community.

        A.  Disease Metrics and Categories for Spread from DHEC

        Two-week cumulative incidence rate:

        The number of new cases in the prior two weeks per 100,000 people. This metric provides the recent incidence of COVID-19 infections in a county.

               Categorization (# cases/100,000 people):

        o   Low:                0–50

        o   Medium:         51 – 200

        o   High:               ≥ 201

         

        Trend in incidence rate:

        Whether the two-week incidence rate is increasing, decreasing, or stable compared to the previous two weeks. For purposes of this assessment, consider the trends to be equivalent to:

        o   Increasing =    High

        o   Stable =           Medium

        o   Decreasing =   Low

         

        Two-week percent positive rate:

        The percentage of individuals who tested positive out of the number of individuals tested with a molecular (swab, or PCR) test in the last two weeks for each county. The metric takes into consideration the number of tests performed in the county in the prior two weeks.

               Categorization:

        o   Low:                ≤ 5.0%

        o   Medium:         5.1 – 9.9%

        o   High:               ≥ 10.0%

         

        Overall Assessment for Each County

        1)    Determine the categorization for the incidence rate, the trend in incidence rate, and the percent positive rate for the county. Example:

        Incidence rate =  Medium

        Trend: Increasing = High

        Percent positive rate = High

         

        2)    If the rates are all the same categorization, that is the overall assessment.

         

        3)    If the rates are not the same categorization, take the average of them.

        Example County = Moderately High

         

        When to close a class/school

         District and school administration will work closely with state and local health officials (DHEC) to determine a course of action and make decisions, as necessary, in response to COVID-19 cases in schools.

         

        Vaccinations are Encouraged

        Vaccinations are Encouraged

        In an effort to protect the health and safety of teachers and staff members, Orangeburg County School District encourages all eligible individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Teachers and education staff were among the first groups eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1B in the Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution Plan. Eligibility began for educators on March 8, 2021, and the District actively encouraged employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible. In addition to making available information about community-wide clinics, local pharmacies, and DHEC appointments, the District arranged an opportunity, in partnership with the Family Health Center, for employee-only vaccine clinics March 17, 2021, held at centrally-located school campuses throughout the county. Second dose clinics were held 28 days later, as indicated by the vaccine manufacturer (Moderna) on April 14, 2021. Student learning was asynchoronous on the Districts Vaccination Clinic Days, meaning instruction was not live and students engaged in learning through recorded lessons and independent practice.

        Children age 12 and older became eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on May 12, 2021. The District encourages all eligible individuals to receive their vaccination.

        Also, at their August 10, 2021, School Board Meeting, Orangeburg’s Board of Trustees approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to provide a financial incentive for employees of the school district who are fully vaccinated and choose to present certification of their vaccination status before the end of the first quarter, October 18, 2021.

        Fully-vaccinated students and staff are exempt from required quarantine and isolation, unless they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Please note that the national Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), allowing staff members paid leave for coronavirus-related absences, expired in December 2020. Our District extended the benefits throughout the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year and expired that provision on June 30, 2021. Therefore, any employee impacted by coronavirus must utilize his/her accrued leave time.

          

        B. Guidelines for Treating Staff/Students with COVID-19 Symptoms or Positive Test

        COVID-19 Symptoms

        ·      Any one of the following:

        o   Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

        o   New or worsening cough

        o   Loss of taste or smell

         

        ·      Any two of the following:

        o   Sore throat

        o   Muscle and body aches

        o   Chills

        o   Congestion or runny nose

        o   Nausea or vomiting

        o   Diarrhea

        o   Fever

         

        Staff/Students with symptoms of COVID-19 identified during the school day

        1)    Students and staff should be moved safely and respectfully to a a separate space for evaluation.

        2)    The individual should be provided a mask, wash his/her hands and students should be supervised by a staff member who maintains at least six feet distance and uses appropriate PPE. 

        3)    Parents are notified to pick up students within the hour.

        4)    While visitors will not be permitted throughout schools and offices, parents and guardians may enter the school, with a face mask, to visit the front office, and/or pick up a student.

        5)    Parents will be advised to call their primary healthcare provider or local Health Department for further guidance and to inquire if testing is needed. Test results should be reported to the school, or the individual may choose to isolate for 10 days, in lieu of going to the doctor.

        6)    Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use area until cleaned and disinfected with approved cleaner; 24 hours is recommended, if possible.

        7)   In accordance with state and local laws, school nurse or principal’s designee should notify DHEC of any case of COVID-19.

         

         
        When to return to school

        Staff members and students are advised not to return until they have met DHEC’s criteria for return. Please note fully-vaccinated students and staff are exempt from quarantine and isolation, unless exhibiting symptoms.

        1)    Staff members and students who have been excluded for COVID-19 symptoms should not return until they have either tested negative for COVID-19 or a medical evaluation determines that their symptoms were more likely due to another cause (e.g. sore throat due to strep throat). In this later case, the individual can return when they meet criteria for that condition.

        2)    Students or staff that require testing for COVID-19 will require a negative test or must complete the current isolation criteria for COVID-19 to return to school.

         

        Category 1

        If I think/know I had COVID-19, and I’ve had symptoms as listed above, then I must meet ALL of the following before coming back to school:

        o   It has been at least 10 school days since the symptoms first started.

        o   And, no fever within the last 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medicine.

        o   And, all other symptoms have improved.

        o   Or, tested negative or medical evaluation determines symptoms were due to another cause.

         

        Category 2

        If I tested positive for COVID-19, but had none of the symptoms listed above, then I can return to school when all of the following apply:

        o   It has been at least 10 school days since the test.

        o   And, no fever-reducing medications have been taken in the last 24 hours.

        o   And, I continue to have no symptoms.

         

        Category 3

        If I tested positive or had COVID-19 and have a weakened immune system due to a health condition or medication, then I can return to school when:

        o   My health care provider sends written clearance.

         

        Category 4

        If I have been around a person who has tested positive with COVID-19 (within six feet for more than fifteen minutes within the past two days/identified as a close contact of a person who has tested positive with COVID-19):

        o   Then I should stay home for 14 calendar days after the last exposure and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

        o  If a student or staff member lives in the same house as the positive case then quarantine for that student or staff member begins on the day that the positive household member has been cleared from isolation. If the staff member or student can separate themselves from the sick household member then quarantine begins on the day of last close contact with the ill person.

        o  Fully-vaccinated students and staff are exempt from quarantine and isolation, unless exhibiting symptoms.

         

        Category 5 

        If I have been around an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and I maintained reliable social distance of more than six feet:

        o   The classroom will be disinfected before use again.

        o   Students and teachers will remain together in the same cohort to the extent possible.

        o   Students and teachers will be screened for fever and COVID-19 symptoms for a period of 14 days after the last contact with the positive individual.

        o   Any of these students or teachers who are being monitored and are found to have symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home and will be required to get tested or complete the required isolation period to return to school.

        o   Students and staff will be encouraged to wear masks.

         

        C. Guidelines for Employee Health

        Employee Enhanced Health Guidelines

        The District will implement the following Enhanced Health Protocols to provide for the safety of employees.

         

        The below applies to all, except fully-vaccinated staff as they are exempt from quarantine and isolation, unless exhibiting symptoms.

        1)    DO NOT report to work or to volunteer if you feel sick or have a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher.

        2)    DO NOT ENTER the school if:

        ·      In the past 14 calendar days, you have knowingly been around anyone with COVID-19, within six feet and for fifteen or more minutes.

        ·      In the past 14 calendar days, anyone in your house has been placed under isolation. (Stay at home and call your supervisor for your next steps.)

         

        Employee Guidelines to Observe Throughout the Workday 

        1)  All employees must practice social distancing, to the fullest extent possible, as recommended by the CDC. Face coverings are strongly encouraged.

        2)  Instructional staff may wear a face shield when teaching students in the building.

        3)  Avoid touching face at all times.

        4)  Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water for 20 seconds.

        5)  If your job requires the use of gloves, wash hands after removing gloves.

        6)  Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after eating.

        7)  Disinfect lunch area before and after eating.

        8) Wipe down commonly touched items used throughout your workday, including but not limited to telephones, copier, pens and pencils.

        9) Remember to use proper hand hygiene before and after removing face covering.

        10) Custodians will implement Enhanced Safety Protocols for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

         

        Employee Sick Policy

        1)    Employees are instructed to stay home, communicate with their supervisor and enter an absence if they have a temperature of 100.0 or higher or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms as outlined.

        2)    Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 can return to work once they have met DHEC’s criteria for return.

        3)    Employees must be fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medicine.

        4)    Employees should notify their supervisor of anyone with whom they have been in close contact.

        Fully-vaccinated staff are exempt from required quarantine and isolation, unless they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Please note that the national Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), allowing staff members paid leave for coronavirus-related absences, expired in December 2020. Our District extended the benefits throughout the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year and expired that provision on June 30, 2021. Therefore, any employee impacted by coronavirus must utilize his/her accrued leave time.

         

        D. Guidelines for Student Health

        Student Enhanced Health Guidelines

        The District will implement the following Enhanced Health Protocols to provide for the safety of students:

        1)    DO NOT come to school if you feel sick or have a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher.

        2)    Please note that fully-vaccinated students are exempt from quarantine and isolation, unless exhibiting symptoms. All others are not permitted to enter the school if:

        o  In the past 14 calendar days you have knowingly been around anyone with 
        COVID-19, within six feet and for fifteen or more minutes.

        o   In the past 14 calendar days anyone in your house has been placed under isolation.

        3)    If riding a school bus, all students must wear a face covering while on the bus.

        4)    All students must practice social distancing of six feet as recommended by the CDC when entering the building, in the classroom (as space allows), in the hallways, and/or if a line is needed.

        5)    Students are encouraged to wear their own personal face covering and refrain from sharing face coverings with others.

        6)    Each student will use their own supplies as much as possible and any shared items will be disinfected after each use.

        7)    Custodians will disinfect frequently used surfaces throughout each day.

         

        Parent/Guardian Responsibility in Monitoring Student Health

        Children showing any symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home until they are well. To keep all classmates and school staff healthy, it is imperative that parents monitor the health of their children before sending them to school.

         

        1)    Take the temperature of any child demonstrating shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle aches, chills, headache, new or worsening cough, runny nose, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea before they get onto a school bus or before they enter a school building.

        2)    Keep the child at home one or more days to monitor symptoms and consult your child’s doctor as needed.

        3)    If you decide to have a COVID-19 test, notify the school nurse of the results so that the school can implement enhanced health and safety protocols in the classroom(s) where your child attended. *All information will remain confidential between the school and family, as well as in accordance with any laws or regulations.

         

        School Visits

        All parents and other visitors to the school must first complete a temperature screening at check-in. Visitors with a temperature of 100.00 degrees or higher will not be allowed.

         

        School Responsibilities in Monitoring Student Health

        Perform daily morning screenings by reviewing symptoms of COVID-19 and asking students to report any symptoms to their teacher.  This could be done on an individual basis by asking each student as they enter their first morning classroom or on a group basis via morning announcements.

         
        Remind students that they should alert their teacher if they feel sick or develop symptoms throughout the day.

         

        Arrival Procedure for Reporting to School

        1)    Arrival times will be staggered and multiple entries will be used.

        2)    Social distancing of six feet and face coverings are encouraged while waiting to enter the building.

        3)    Students will have access to hand sanitizer upon entrance to school.

         

        Guidelines to Observe Throughout the School Day

        1)    Face coverings will be encouraged.

        2)    Avoid touching face at all times.

        3)    Cover your cough by using your elbow or in a tissue then immediately wash hands.

        4)    Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water for 20 seconds.

        5)    Use hand sanitizer or wash hands before and after eating and frequently throughout the day (sanitizer stations are available in every classroom).

        6)    Maintain a social distance of at least six feet while eating lunch.

        7)    Bathroom breaks will be staggered. Students must wash hands after using the toilet.

        8)    No congregating in groups in parking lots, hallways, lunch areas, etc. Hallways each have six-feet distancing reminders.

        9)    School dismissal will follow social distancing guidelines as students exit the building.

         

        Student Sick Policy

        1)    Parents are instructed to keep their child home from school if their child has a temperature of 100.0 or higher or has experienced COVID-19 symptoms as outlined.

        2)    Parents must have a reliable back up to pick up a child who becomes ill at school.

        3)    Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 can return to school once they have met DHEC’s criteria for return.

        4)    Students must be fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medicine.

        5)    Parents should notify the school if anyone in the family has been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.

        6)    Fully-vaccinated students are exempt from required quarantine and isolation, unless they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
         


         
        Guidance for Parents/Guardians

        Please talk with your child about the importance of:

        ·      Social distancing (stay six- feet apart from others, when possible)

        ·      Proper hand hygiene

        ·      Covering coughs and sneezes

        ·      Not touching their face

        ·      Not touching the personal belongings of others

        ·      Notifying their teacher if they are having COVID-19 symptoms or not feeling well

        ·      Wearing a face mask 

         

        E. Enhanced Disinfecting Protocols 

        Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of all facilities should be a collaborative effort between the students, faculty, staff, and custodial teams.  

         

        Safety Supplies 

        Prior to the return of school, the district will provide the following supplies: 

        ·      Hand sanitizer 

        ·      EPA-approved disinfectant cleaners 

        ·      Misters or electrostatic sprayers 

        ·      Plexiglass Barriers - Early in the pandemic, the CDC believed that coronavirus was spreading on surfaces and through droplets between people in close proximity. OCSD was pleased to work with the State Department in installing plexiglass in front offices, around student desks, and in other areas. However, the CDC has since acknowledged (May, 2021) that COVID-19 can be transmitted through the air at greater distances and that plexiglass only provides partial protection. It is for this reason that the Planning Committee has determined that individual choice in using plexiglass to be our best approach for the 2021-2022 school year. Plexiglass may be removed by choice or added by choice of the employee. Students who would like additional protection are encouraged to request a face shield.  

         

        Classroom Disinfecting Plan 

        Remove, file, or store as many items laying on all flat surfaces to help speed up the sanitizing procedures. Daily disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, chairs, tables, handrails, doorknobs, light switches, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and educational toys. 

          

        Custodians

        1)    Custodial staff will sanitize common workspaces, high traffic areas, and frequently  

        touched surfaces multiple times per day. 

        2)    Check rooms for soap, paper towels, and sanitizer. 

        3)    Empty all trash and sanitize trash receptacle. 

        4)    Vacuum if classrooms have carpet with vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA filters. 

        5)   Sweep and mop hard surface floors with approved cleaners. 

        6)   Disinfect high touch surfaces in bathrooms frequently during the day (sinks, soap

        dispensers, towel dispensers, door knobs, hand rails, and bathroom fixtures). 

        7)    Wipe down and disinfect countertops and all flat surfaces. 

        8)    Disinfect all classrooms, restrooms, and high touch point surfaces at the end of each day. 

         

        Staff

        1)    Remove, file, or store as many items as possible that are laying on flat surfaces to help speed up the sanitizing.

        2)    Wipe down and sanitize countertops and desks periodically. 

        3)    Clean and sanitize sinks and wipe down faucets and knobs periodically. 

        4)    Wipe down and sanitize frequently touched surfaces in classrooms and

        offices periodically. 

         

        COMMON SPACE DISINFECTING PLAN 

         

        Main Office

        1. Remove, file, or store as many items as possible that are laying on flat surfaces to help speed up the sanitizing.
        2. Wipe down and sanitize countertops and desk throughout the day.
        3. Clean and sanitize sinks and wipe down faucets and knobs throughout the day.
        4. Wipe down and sanitize frequently touched surfaces throughout the day.

         

        Restrooms

        1. Staff should wash their hands after every use.
        2. All restrooms shall be disinfected routinely throughout the day by the custodial staff. At

             the end of the day, custodial staffs should clean and disinfect all restrooms. 

         

        Locker Rooms

        1. Locker rooms shall be mist sprayed after every use.
        2. Athletes will not be allowed to leave personal items in the lockers overnight. If personal items are left and the room is sprayed with disinfectant, the items should be bagged in a plastic bag and cleaned/washed before re-use.

         

        THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLEANING, SANITIZING, AND DISINFECTING 

         

        Cleaning: 

        Removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. 

         

        Sanitizing: 

        Lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection. 

         

        Disinfecting: 

        Kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. 

         

        Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often 

        Orangeburg County School District will follow standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, chairs, tables, handrails, doorknobs, light switches, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and toys.  

         

        Clean and disinfect correctly 

        Surfaces should be cleaned using soap and water and then a disinfectant. Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. This may require separate EPA approved products.  

         

        Use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers. Pay close attention to the directions for using disinfecting wipes. Disinfecting wipes are to be discarded in the proper trash receptacle and not flushed down toilets. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the stated length of contact time. Make sure that the electronics can withstand the use of liquids for cleaning and disinfecting. 

         

        How to clean and disinfect 

        • Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect. Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

         

        • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant if necessary. Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label). 

         

        • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.

         

        • More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use.

         

        • Surfaces and objects in common areas, such as copiers, should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.

         

        • Frequently touched surfaces include: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

         

        Use products safely 

        Pay close attention to hazard warnings and directions on product labels. Cleaning products and disinfectants often call for the use of gloves or eye protection. For example, gloves should always be worn to protect your hands when working with disinfectants. 

         

        Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants unless the labels indicate it is safe to do so. Combining certain products (such as chlorine bleach and ammonia cleaners) can result in serious injury or death. 

         

        Ensure that custodial staff, teachers, and others who use cleaners and disinfectants read and understand all instruction labels and understand safe and appropriate use. This might require that instructional materials and training be provided in other languages. 

         

        Handle waste properly 

        Follow your school’s standard procedures for handling waste, which may include wearing gloves. Place no-touch waste baskets where they are easy to use. Throw disposable items used to clean surfaces and items in the trash immediately after use. Avoid touching used tissues and other waste when emptying waste baskets. Wash your hands with soap and water after emptying waste baskets, touching used tissues, and similar waste. Disinfecting wipes, paper towels, and gloves should be placed in the appropriate trash receptacle and not flushed down toilets. 

         

        CDC GUIDELINES ON CLEANING AND DISINFECTING FOR A CONFIRMED CASE

         

        Upon confirmation of a positive case. 

        • Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
          • Companies do not necessarily need to close operations, if they can close off affected areas.

         

        • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.

         

        • Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.

         

        • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.

             

        • Vacuum the space if needed. Use vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filter, if available. 

        o   Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. Wait until the room or space is empty to vacuum, such as at night, for common spaces, or during the day for private rooms. 

        o   Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility. 

         

        • Once area has been appropriately disinfected, itcan be opened for use.
          • Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.

         

        • If less than 24 hours have passed, since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, clean and disinfect the space.

         

        • If more than 24 hours have passed, since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, routine cleaning with disinfectant is enough.

         

        • If more than 3 days have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, no additional cleaning beyond regular cleaning practices is needed. 

         

        Maintenance and Facilities Response to Confirmed Case 

        • The Office of Maintenance and Facilities should be notified immediately of a confirmed

              case.  

         

        • The Office of Maintenance and Facilities will send a representative (if necessary) to work in conjunction with a building level custodian to clean and disinfect areas of contamination. 

         

        • PPE items, electrostatic sprayers, or misters are required. (Masks, gloves, eyewear, Victory Electrostatic sprayers, Sani spray misters) 

         

        • Once disinfected, the guidelines above will be followed for reoccupying the areas of

              former contamination.  

         

        • Routine cleaning and disinfection will occur after priority disinfection.

         

        *All Procedures and Recommendations will be followed in accordance of the CDC, DHEC, and State Department Guidelines. 

         

         

         

      Instruction

      • INSTRUCTIONAL MODEL

        In August, 2021 we intend to continue with five day face-to-face instruction, with fewer than 5% of our students enrolled in Orangeburg Online. However, should the spread of coronavirus within our communities and/or schools require a change in our instructional model, parents and guardians will be notified of the change as quickly as the situation allows.

        Instructional model decisions are directly tied to situations that arise with COVID-19.  Depending upon the type of situation, the District (Superintendent’s office) and/or school (Principal’s office) will communicate directly to parents/guardians when changes in the student learning model must be initiated.

        Should a closure occur, our goal will always be to minimize the closure to the impacted areas and return to in-person instruction as quickly as safely possible.

        Targeted Closure: An office or classroom must be closed temporarily to disinfect area.

        Short-term Closure: An entire facility must be closed for deep cleaning.

        Extended Closure: The district closes for extended virtual learning for a minimum of 10 school days Faculty and staff will be required to report to the building.

        Orangeburg Online

        A full-time virtual learning program that will operate during the 2021-2022 school year with no more than 5% of the district’s total enrollment.

        Traditional Learning

        Daily Schedules for 2021 – 2022

        Primary and Elementary (Brookdale, Edisto El, Edisto Pr., Holly Hill El., Marshall, Mellichamp, Rivelon, St. James-Gaillard, Sheridan, Vance-Providence, Whittaker): START TIME 7:40 AM END TIME 2:40 PM

        Middle (Carver-Edisto, Elloree El., Holly Hill Roberts, Robert E. Howard, William J. Clark): START TIME 8:00 AM END TIME 3:00 PM

        K-12 (Bethune-BowmanBranchville/Lockett, Hinter-Kinard-Tyler, North/Dover): START TIME 8:00 AM END TIME 3:00 PM

        High (Edisto, Lake Marion, Orangeburg-Wilkinson): START TIME 8:25 AM END TIME 3:25 PM

         

        Social/Emotional Support

        Nurses, school counselors, social workers, and mental health counselors will be a vital part of the school program. An additional mental health counselor was hired to provide support and services to students. Social emotional supports can be initiated by the school or provided to students virtually upon request for the following: social or grief counseling, mental health counseling, food assistance, physical health counseling, or instructional fun activities to help students.

        Parent/Guardian Resources

        Parents/guardians will have access to a parent/guardian Orangeburg County School District Student Handbook.

        Technology

        The school will issue devices to all students in PK – 12th grade and provide students with direct instruction on how to connect with teachers on SeeSaw (PK – 2nd grade) and Canvas (Grades 3-12). The district will maintain the technology help line to provide technical support to students and families on Canvas and Seesaw, specific applications, or address technical difficulties. The help line for instructional and technical issues is available by phone at (803) 533-7981 and email at helpdesk@ocsdsc.org. Should a device repair be necessary, a loaner device will be provided, if available.

        Elementary School Schedule

        English Language Arts Instruction - 2 Hours 5 Minutes

        Wit &Wisdom/Intervention/Enrichment-95 Minutes

        • Small Group Instruction
        • Writing
        • Edgenuity/PathBlazer

        Letterland-30 Minutes

        Lunch - 25 Minutes

        Social Studies - 35 Minutes

        • Community Circle
        • Morning Meeting

        Science Instruction - 50 Minutes

        • FOSS Kits

        Recess - 20 Minutes

        Math Instruction - 1 Hour 50 Minutes

        Eureka Math-60 Minutes

        Intervention/Enrichment-50 Minutes

        • Small Group Instruction
        • Guided Practice
        • Dreambox
        • Equip Eureka Math

        Related Arts - 45 Minutes

        Pack-up/Dismissal - 10 Minutes

        Middle School Schedule

        Middle Schools will have eight forty-minute periods. 

        High School Schedule

        High Schools will be on an eighty-five minute 4 by 4 block schedule.

        Attendance

        Attendance will be taken traditionally when students are on campus.

        Special Education Services

        • Accommodations for access to general education:
          • SPED and General Ed teachers will collaborate to provide specific accommodations to students as outlined in students’ IEPs.
        • Psychological Evaluations:
          • School Psychologists will conduct evaluations in a face-to-face model.

        504

        All accommodations and/or services will be provided to students as outlined in their 504 plans.

        Assessment

        The teacher will use multiple types of authentic assessments (formative and summative). Grades should not be confused and mixed with behavior.  Teachers in similar grades/subjects will set up common grading procedures.  Administrators will monitor teachers’ feedback and complete grading within a designated number of days after the assignment has been turned in.

        Grading

        PK - 2nd Grade: The grading system will remain on the grading scale that it is currently used in a traditional school setting.

        Grades 3 – 12:  Grades are based on mastery of content. Assignments will be categorized as they are in the traditional setting. There is a minimum of one graded assignment and a maximum of two graded assignments per week per content area.  Major assignments will be released/assigned at least five days prior to the due date.  Accommodations will be provided to IEP/504 students who have extended time for submission of work.

        Deadlines for Work Submission

        Teachers will communicate to students the deadlines for turning in assignments.

        Communication

        Messages and phone calls received from parents/guardians or students will be returned within 24 hours, Monday through Friday each week. Messages and phone calls received after 3:00 p.m. on Friday may not be returned until the following Monday. To help families monitor student progress, teachers will provide specific feedback to students weekly and update their gradebooks at a minimum one time per week. Teachers will have at least one unencumbered period during the work day to engage in instructional planning and/or professional development.

        Social/Emotional Support

        Nurses, school counselors, social workers, and mental health counselors will be a vital part of the school program. An additional Mental Health Counselor was hired to provide support and services to students. Social emotional supports can be initiated by the school or provided to students upon request for the following: social or grief counseling, mental health counseling, food assistance, physical health counseling, or instructional fun activities to help students.

        Technology

        The school will issue devices to all students in PK – 12th Grade and provide students with instruction on how to connect with teachers on Seesaw (PK – 2nd Grade) and Canvas (Grades 3-12). The district will maintain the technology help line to provide technical support to students and families on specific applications such as Canvas or Seesaw, or technical difficulties. Should the device require technical support, a loaner device will be provided, if available.

        Extra-curricular Activities

        Due to the nature of extracurricular activities, all participants age 12 and above are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Our District will continue to follow and adhere to public health recommendations regarding the spread of coronavirus within our community and make school extracurricular activity decisions in the best interest of students, families, employees and the community.

        Performing Arts

        1. Maintain minimum physical distancing of at least six feet between participants as space allows.
        2. All directors, staff and students should be screened according to district guidelines and protocols.
        3. Face coverings/masks that completely cover the nose and mouth are encouraged. 
        4. Taking into consideration that rehearsal spaces (outdoor and indoor) vary among school it is the recommendation of the Planning Committee that the number of students allowed in a rehearsal setting be based on the space available and the ability to properly follow prevention measures.
        5. Students and staff should report to rehearsals in proper gear/attire when possible. If not possible, changing areas should be limited to 50% capacity at all times and students/staff should wear face coverings.
        6. Students will be encouraged to wash their rehearsal attire immediately upon returning home.
        7. Bathroom access will be limited to no more persons allowed inside than the number of stalls available.
        8. Hand sanitizer or handwashing stations will be available to all participants.
        9. Instruments, equipment and sheet music should not be shared without proper cleaning and disinfecting. This includes percussion mallets and sticks, choral folders, and color guard equipment.
        10. Individuals should bring their own water bottle to each rehearsal and not share this bottle with anyone.

         

        Athletics

        • It is expected that students avoid close contact with others and maintain a physical distance of six feet or greater.
        • Close contact is considered being within 6 feet for 15 minutes cumulatively.  Face coverings are strongly encouraged. 
        • Practice individual hygiene such as hand washing, coughing/sneezing etiquette, avoid touching face, etc.
        • Athletes and coaches are expected to be closely monitored for any symptoms.  Those who have been exposed to COVID-19 (regardless of where the exposure occurred) are expected to follow protocols set forth by the CDC, DHEC, and the local health department.

         

        Additional Mitigation Strategies

        Any athlete with a prior confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis is expected to undergo an evaluation by their medical provider. Written medical clearance is recommended before participation. Once cleared and before returning to the sport, a gradual return to activity is advised, and any athlete showing abnormal health issues is expected to be evaluated and cleared by a physician before a return to sports activities. As much as possible, practices, training, workouts, meetings, etc. should be held in well-ventilated areas.

        Exceptional Student Services Learning Model

        The 504 Plan

        • 504 Teams will follow procedures for conducting meetings for students based on recommendations from the previous school year. 
        • The necessary accommodations will be developed for each identified student, annually.

        The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

        • OCSD is committed to ensuring that all students receive an equitable education that meets their individual needs.

         

        IEPs

        For in-person learning, each classroom will be measured, and meet state guidelines for teacher/student ratio.

        • IEPs Self-Contained Students – goals and objectives in the IEP will be a priority.
        • IEPs Resource Students – Academic assistance will be provided to each student as described in the student’s IEP.

         

        Orangeburg Online  

        Eligibility: 1.103 (SCDE: Public School Virtual Program) was amended to allow school districts to offer a virtual schooling option for up to five percent of its total student enrollment. However, students whose IEP or 504 status requires their participation in a program administered in a virtual format will not be included in the five percent. Further, the proviso directs that a school district will not receive 47.22% of its state per pupil funding for every student participating in the virtual program above the five percent threshold. The State Department of Education (SDE) is directed to establish guidelines for the virtual program and parameters students must meet in order to participate. School districts are required to submit their plans for the virtual program to the State Board of Education (SBE) for approval.

        Registration: Parents/guardians had the opportunity to apply to participate in Orangeburg Online during the week of April 27 - May 5, 2021. Orangeburg Online will officially begin on the first day of school in accordance with the OCSD school calendar.

        Teaching Faculty: Orangeburg Online teachers are current Orangeburg County School District teachers who have been selected to teach in Orangeburg Online. All faculty are SC certified.   Quencenia Dantzler, is the Director of Virtual School Education in Orangeburg County School District.

        Learning Platform: Courses will be delivered through SeeSaw (PK-2) and Canvas (3-9), our current learning management tools. Courses will be founded in the curriculum platform and supported with teacher-designed lessons, direct instruction, and relevant activities.

        Courses Offered: Orangeburg Online is a program. Students will maintain the schedule from their home school. Courses offered within Orangeburg Online include K-8 core content area courses in English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies with Gifted & Talented extensions. Special and exploratory courses such as PE, Health, Art, and Technology will be offered to students.

        Learning Opportunities: Orangeburg Online will allow for synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) classes. Orangeburg Online will provide fully virtual courses with online and instruction, tutoring, small group, and independent learning opportunities.

        Schedule: Students will have a schedule which includes all required grade appropriate courses and content. Students will have an opportunity to schedule time for independent assistance and small group instruction. There may also be scheduled class sessions or study groups. The regular OCSD school calendar start and end dates, as well as all grading period dates, apply to Orangeburg Online.

        Student-Centered: Teachers will work hard to develop relationships, maintain contact and provide access to each student. Students will complete a learning style survey and a personal profile to help staff better assess each student’s needs. Additionally, students will be offered choice in their instructional activities, share in the decision-making process of learning experiences, and have opportunities for reflection on their academics and behavior. Audio, video, and other multimedia formats will be used to foster the virtual classroom community. For example, the student (and parent/guardian) may submit a video to the teacher introducing themselves in order to build community and relationships with the instructor and class.

        Student Activities: Students will be able to participate in extracurricular activities including sports and fine arts programs at their home school while enrolled at Orangeburg Online.

        Student Expectations: Students are expected to be engaged in each of their classes which includes completing assignments and staying on schedule. Participating in online teaching sessions, online small group work, and individual sessions may be required. Teachers will post a syllabus for each class or course detailing expectations each week. The platform will provide instant course data including time on task, percentage of course complete, and grade.

        Special Services: Students who qualify for Special Education Services will receive support and services according to their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan.

        Technology: The school will issue devices (iPads for PK-2, Chromebooks for 3rd - 9th grade) and provide students with direct instruction on how to connect with teachers and access school assignments using the district’s provided Learning Management System(s).

        The district will provide training opportunities for students and parents/guardians as they learn to navigate all associated software. The district will maintain the technology help line to provide technical support to students and families on Canvas, specific applications, and/or address technical difficulties. The help line for instructional and technical issues is available by phone at (803) 533-7981 and email at helpdesk@ocsdsc.org. Families are encouraged to utilize the call center when a device becomes inoperable. If the device cannot be repaired on the phone, the technician will instruct the student/parent regarding next steps for service.  Each service will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  All repairs that require a device be dropped off at a school will be returned, repaired or replaced as soon as possible.  A loaner device will be provided, if available.

        The district does not offer support for home internet service. Families and students can check the status of the district’s technology resources by visiting www.ocsdsc.org.  The technology department will be using this webpage to communicate outages and scheduled maintenance windows.

         

      Transportation

      • TRANSPORTATION 

        As coronavirus numbers increased throughout the state during the first several weeks of the 2021-2022 school year, South Carolina’s State Department of Education began enforcing again the CDC’s order requiring the use of face coverings by students and staff on state owned and operated school buses. Since the much debated “Mask Mandate Prohibition” (Proviso 1.108) did not extend to school buses, our District was already requiring face coverings on school buses and will continue to do so.

        The following protocols continue to be recommended by state public health experts but are NOT required:

        • 67% capacity.
        • Sanitization of the high touch surface areas which can be with accomplished by wiping the surface area on a regular basis. The SCDE will no longer require electrostatic spraying of buses and will remove the “disinfected” stickers from all state-owned buses.
        • Increased ventilation is still recommended to include opening the roof vents and some windows as weather permits.
        • Driver shields will be a district choice.

         

        Route Plan:

        In order to meet bus capacity recommendations, several schools may need to run double routes for both elementary and secondary schools. Pick up times for students will be staggered across an extended period of time as the bus makes one trip to a particular school and returns to pick up a second group. Bus drivers will take extra time to disinfect the bus prior to picking up the next group of students.

        Bus Health and Safety Protocols (expectations for students and drivers):

        • Drivers will wear masks at all times.
        • Students are required to wear masks on the bus. 

        Bus Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols:

        • Every bus will be totally cleaned then disinfected using an electrostatic handheld sprayer and EPA-approved disinfectant (e.g., BioTab7 disinfectant) twice per day – after completion of morning and afternoon routes.
        • The district will ensure that the Transportation Department has adequate supplies to support frequent cleaning and disinfection practices.

         

        Personal Prevention Practices:

        • Drivers are required to wear face masks or face coverings. Students are required to wear masks on the bus. 
        • Face coverings should not be used on children under two years old, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone unable to remove the face covering without assistance. 
        • Drivers may wear disposable gloves and are not routinely recommended unless cleaning and disinfecting.
        • Care should be taken not to touch one’s face or mask/face covering while wearing gloves, and if this occurs, the gloves should be changed.

         

        Special Needs Transportation:

        Special Needs Transportation will be provided to students with disabilities who were recommended by their IEP team and will be provided based on routes and locations.

         

         

      Meal Services

      • MEAL SERVICES

        Elementary and Secondary Schools:

        • Students purchasing or selecting a school meal will be dismissed from their classroom to visit the cafeteria and go through the serving line. Once they have selected a meal and any additional items, the student will eat in the cafeteria.
        • Schools will maintain a staggered schedule for entering the cafeteria in an effort to physical distance in accordance with CDC guidelines.
        • Breakfast in the classroom will continue in schools that choose that option.
        • The Afterschool Snacks Program will continue for schools with that program.
        • The use of share table options will be allowable, in an effort to reduce food waste.
        • Due to the continuance of the Seamless Summer Option Program by the USDA for the 2021-2022 school year, students will not use the pin pad or need to state their name for reimbursable meals.
        • Food handling procedures will be strictly followed, with particular emphasis on health and safety protocols, including gloves, masks and serving practices.

      Communication

      • COMMUNICATION

        The Back-to-School Planning Committee, made up of more than 100 internal and external stakeholders, is revising the Back-to-School Plan created for the 2020-2021 school year.

        Community input into the draft plan was sought through a comprehensive survey that will be made available to stakeholders on June 10, 2021. The survey closed at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 14, 2021. Community input was reviewed, considered and incorporated, where practical and feasible, before presented to the School Board on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Following board approval, the print-ready plan was posted on the District website, www.ocsdsc.org, as well as a fully-accessible version. The District submitted the approved plan to the State Department of Education on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

        Several updates to the Back to School Plan were shared at the Tuesday, August 10, 2021, school board meeting to provide clarity on how the district would comply with new state legislation related to masks and visitors. This plan was last updated and shared August 14, 2021, and will continue to be revised based on need and new guidance or applicable legislation.

        A.    District Communication of 2021-2022 Back to School Plan

        • The official Orangeburg County School District Back to School Plan was first posted June 16, 2021. An update to the plan was posted August 14, 2021.
        • Parents, guardians, and employees are provided links to the plan via email, and through social media (Facebook and Twitter)), and kept abreast of updates. 
        • The plan will be revisited for changes regularly. Community input will be encouraged through surveys and Planning Team Groups so that the plan remains current and representative of current public health guidance on coronavirus prevention. At a minimum, the plan will be reviewed every six months and updated accordingly.

         

        B. District Communication of Learning Model

        The district has announced that all learning will be face-to-face for the 2021-2022 school year, with the exception of students enrolled in our 100% virtual learning model through Orangeburg Online.

        If there are significant changes in the spread of COVID-19, the district will provide parents/guardians as much notice as the situation allows before transitioning to a more remote model.

        C.    Communication Expectations

        The district will lead schools in communicating coronavirus-related messaging, including the following:

        • Communicate 2021-2022 School Reopening Plan.
        • Handle media requests through the Communications Office.
        • Follow procedures for notifying staff and parents/guardians of possible COVID-19 exposure, while protecting private health information according to HIPAA.
        • The district/school will not confirm the identity of a student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19.
        • The district/school will notify individuals who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive. Close contact is defined as contact less than six feet, more than ten minutes, in the last 48 hours.
        • The district/school will require appropriate quarantine periods for impacted individuals.
        • District/schools will share health issues related to COVID-19.

         

        D.   School Procedures to Notify Parents/Guardians of a Positive COVID-19 Case

        When the school becomes aware of a positive COVID-19 case, the following steps will occur:

        • School nurse will notify DHEC.
        • School administration will notify district office.
        • School will implement Enhanced Health Procedures and Safety Protocols for disinfecting classrooms.
        • School administration will send a letter to parents/guardians to make them aware that their student may have been in contact with a positive case of COVID-19.
        • Contact tracing will occur to identify any persons who may have been in “close contact” and need to quarantine.           

      Back-to-School Plan (print-ready)

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