• Horry County Schools Hurricane Florence Information


    Updated September 30, 2018, 11:30 a.m.

    School closing

    HCS Parents and Students,

    After an extensive review of data collected daily by our operations staff concerning school transportation routes and facilities, we are asking all HCS employees to return to their normal work schedules on Monday, October 1, 2018. Our employees will use this time on Monday to prepare for our students’ return on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. We realize that many of our students’ families were affected by Hurricane Florence’s flood waters, and we will work through these situations with patience, understanding, and support for our children.

    Over the next week or so, we expect our County’s roads to return to their normal conditions. However, in the meantime as some roads remain flooded, our Transportation Department will temporarily adjust some bus stop locations in order to maneuver around the flooded areas safely. Today and Monday, members of our Transportation Department will be reaching out to the parents of students who reside in flooded areas to make them aware of these temporary bus stop adjustments. However, if you have additional questions regarding your child’s bus stop location, I encourage you to contact your local bus office via the telephone numbers listed at the following link: https://www.horrycountyschools.net/Page/11697. Our bus offices will open from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., on Monday, October 1st, to help answer any questions prior to the opening of schools for students on Tuesday, October 2nd.

    As we begin the process of reopening schools and working alternate transportation routes, we anticipate delays regarding bus pick-up and drop-off times since travel challenges remain with multiple road closures and the ongoing removal process of the flood barrier on the Highway 501 Bypass. With each passing day, however, we expect more roads to open and delays to decline. Until these improvements occur, we ask for your patience as we work toward a sense of normalcy.

    Since we anticipate increased traffic during school arrival and dismissal times in certain attendance areas due to road closures, we ask parents who transport their children to allow more time for school drop-offs and pick-ups. Please visit http://www.horrycounty.org/gis/roadClosures/ for the most up-to-date listing of local road closures in Horry County.

    Thank you all for your support, patience, and compassion over these last three weeks. If you sustained damage or hardships during this flooding event and need help, please reach out to your child’s school administration as they may be able to assist you and

    provide additional resources that may be available. Since the road to recovery for many is just beginning, we will certainly work with our staff, students, and parents on an individual basis to the best of our abilities. We look forward to seeing your children at school on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

    Rick Maxey, Ph.D.
    Superintendent


    Updated September 26, 2018, 2:30 p.m.

    We have received a number of questions from parents and students regarding the missed days due to the flooding impacts of Hurricane Florence. Although we may not be able to answer all of your questions at this point, we do want to share information we know at the present time. This is uncharted territory for our school district, as we have never experienced such devastation that has left us unable to return to school for 14 consecutive days. Our Facilities and other support staff will continue to work diligently preparing to re-open schools when deemed safe so that we can get back to the business of our primary mission---educating our youth.

    Our next parent/student update will be provided by noon on Sunday, September 30, 2018, as we will continue to review available data concerning river levels, flooded areas, flooding time tables, and road closures, etc., so we can make an informed decision regarding school openings for next week. Based upon the aforementioned data, we have decided that all HCS staff will NOT be requested to report to work on Friday, September 28, 2018; however, as conditions allow, we will tentatively ask our HCS staff to return to work on Monday, October 1, 2018, in anticipation of the re-opening of schools. Thank you all again for your continued support and patience during these difficult times.

    Will students have to make up missed days?

    Yes. In light of the enormous impact Hurricane Florence flood waters have had across our county, HCS is exploring make-up day options that will comply with state law and that will allow the District to recoup valuable instructional time for our students. Though this historic flooding event has not ended, we are developing a revised yet preliminary student calendar which focuses on reclaiming instructional days within first semester, as doing so is especially critical for our high school students.

    What we know to-date...HCS will make up at least three days, as required by S.C law [Section 59-1-425 (B) and (C)]. After HCS students have made up three days of school missed due to weather conditions, several levels of waiver for missed days are possible according to state law.


    The three days HCS previously established in the 2018-19 student calendar as make-up days are as follows:

    • October 8, 2018
    • January 18, 2019
    • February 18, 2019

    More information will be forthcoming regarding both a revised student calendar and the additional instructional days that likely will be added to first semester. 

    Will interim report cards be issued on Friday, September 28?

    First quarter interim report cards will NOT be issued on Friday, September 28. Once a calendar adjustment has been completed, the new date will be announced. The final adjusted calendar will also include new dates for future interim and final report cards.

    Once school resumes, if a student is unable to attend school because of impacts from the flooding, will the absences be excused?

    Please notify your school’s administration as soon as possible and let them know your particular hardships. Schools will work with parents on an individual basis.

    Can our child remain in his/her base school (i.e., the school serving his/her area of residence) if our family has been temporarily displaced by the flooding?

    Yes. We will make every effort to ensure that your child remains at his/her base school regardless of your living situation; however, you will need to provide your own transportation.  Please notify your school’s administration of your current address and update your contact information including phone number.

    Can our child remain in his/her base school if our family has been displaced by the flooding and can no longer live in our home for an extended amount of time?

    Yes. We will make every effort to ensure that your child remains at his/her base school regardless of your living situation. Please notify your school’s administration of your current situation and address and update your contact information including phone number. The school can provide additional contact information for support and resources.                                                                                 

    Our home flooded, and we are temporarily living outside of the Horry County School District boundaries. Is my child still eligible to continue attending his/her base school in Horry County?

    Yes. We will make every effort to ensure that your child remains at his/her school regardless of your living situation; however, you will need to provide your own transportation.

    We are relocating to another district. How can I transfer my child’s records?

    Please notify your child’s base school in Horry County Schools that you are requesting a transfer of your child to another school and complete all withdrawal documents. Though your child’s new school typically will contact his/her base school directly to request all school records, to ensure a smooth transfer, you should ask his/her base school in Horry County Schools to send the records as well.

    Due to the disaster, we may need to apply for Free/Reduced Meals. How do we do that?

    Please visit https://www.horrycountyschools.net/Domain/170.

    When will school athletics resume?

    School athletic directors, in conjunction with coaches, the SC High School League, and the individual regions, are revising the athletic schedules and will communicate additional information once finalized at https://www.horrycountyschools.net/Page/1056.

    Can I donate or volunteer to help Horry County families impacted by the storm?

    Yes. Horry County Disaster Relief is being organized by the Waccamaw Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) https://www.disasterhelp.me/ or call 843-915-5908.

    Are there any community outreach or disaster assistance programs to assist families affected by the storm?

    Register for FEMA Disaster Assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. If you are unable to access the internet, you can also call 1-800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish). You may also install the FEMA App, available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices.

    When you register for disaster assistance either online or by phone, you will need the following to complete your application:

    • Social Security number
    • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
    • Current mailing address
    • Current telephone number
    • Insurance information
    • Total household annual income
    • Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account).
    • A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses

    Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly. For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. More information can be found at https://www.fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance.

    Is there a “one-stop” location where I can find additional information about claims, insurance, disaster assistance, FEMA aid, etc.?

    Yes. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division has a resource page that can be viewed at https://www.scemd.org/.

     


    Updated September 22, 2018 6:00 p.m.

    We are all eager to get our students back into the classroom and learning; however, after reviewing available data concerning river levels, flooded areas, flooding time tables, and road closures, we have concluded that, unfortunately, the most sensible course of action we can take is to close schools for next week, September 24-28, 2018. We are committed to providing a quality education, the stability of a routine, as well as nutritious meals that many of our families depend upon. However, we also need to be absolutely sure that our campuses are safe and that Horry County’s infrastructure and roads are ready for the safe transportation of our students to school.

    Horry County Emergency Management informed the District that they expect several of our schools to remain available as shelters to support displaced families in our county for this upcoming week. We stand willing and able to help because we are an integral part of this community, and we will be here to assist until the end. In fact, I am proud of our amazing students, staff, and school volunteers who have stepped up and shown how a true community comes together to help and support their neighbors in a time of need.

    Your individual school administrators and teachers are aware of the importance of making up lost instructional time for our students, and they will work together with District staff to address this issue. Our District’s Learning Services Division already has been hard at work developing plans to ensure our essential curriculum will be delivered to our students for this semester and for the remainder of the year.

    As conditions allow next week, we will tentatively ask our HCS staff to return to work on Friday, September 28, 2018. However, as circumstances could change between now and then, please know that additional communications will be forthcoming next week for our employees.

    I want to thank all of our parents, students, and staff for your continued support of HCS and for your patience and well-wishes. Soon, most of our lives will return to some sense of normalcy following the flooding, but for many in our county, it may be months or even years. Right now, we are here in support of our community, and once schools reopen, our school administrators, teachers, and guidance counselors will be on hand to assist our students in any way we can. And, just to keep you informed of the status of our situation, we plan to provide an update to the public the afternoon of Wednesday, September 26, 2018.

    Rick Maxey, Ph.D.
    Superintendent


    Updated September 19, 2018, 11:15 a.m.

    Dear HCS Family,

    I want to thank personally all of our HCS families for their patience as we continue to respond to and recover from the impacts of Hurricane Florence. Over the last few days, many of our dedicated HCS employees have been working diligently to ensure that all of our school buildings and properties are safe for the return of students, teachers, administrators, and support staff; that our utilities and computer servers are up and running; and that we have ample food to operate our cafeterias. However, the challenges that remain for HCS are the bus transportation routes around the flooded areas that currently impact roads, as well as the forecasted flooding that may impact travel into next week. In addition, we have a significant number of teachers, support staff, and HCS families who have not yet been able to return home due to the major roadway complications in North Carolina or who have been temporarily displaced due to localized flooding.

    After extensive meetings with our district staff and consultation with Horry County Emergency Management, who has asked that schools be on standby to support potentially displaced flood victims, we feel that it is in the best interest of our entire HCS community for schools to remain closed for the rest of this week. We will work closely with our local and state officials as they monitor these historic flooding challenges that our county may face over the next two weeks. Our next school update will be made by 12 P.M., on Sunday, September 23, 2018.

    In closing, the decisions that must be made by state and local governments and school districts following a disaster are challenging ones. Life safety and the protection of property are, of course, everyone’s first priority. The safety and well-being of over 44,000 students (our children) and almost 6,000 employees are responsibilities I take very seriously. I believe we, as a District, are making the best decisions we can with the historic flooding issue before us that is literally changing by the hour. Again, I thank you for your patience and understanding, as HCS will be here to support our entire community during this difficult time.

    Rick Maxey, Ph.D.
    Superintendent

     


    Updated September 17, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

    HCS Parents and Staff,

    Horry County Schools will be closed Tuesday, September 18, and Wednesday, September 19, due to flooding that has already occurred and record flooding that is predicted for the Waccamaw River and the Little Pee Dee River. These local rivers are expected to reach historic flood levels over the next several days and could impact many areas in our county including Socastee, Bucksport, Conway, Aynor, Loris, Longs, Green Sea Floyds, Galivants Ferry, etc. The delay in school openings will give staff a better understanding of the flood models and what the future impacts could be to our roadways later in the week. The delay in school openings will also allow more time for our families and staff who evacuated to other areas to return home as traffic conditions re-entering Horry County have been challenging.

    All 240 and 246-day  employees are to report as normally scheduled on Tuesday, September 18, and Wednesday, September 19, and other essential staff and personnel who may be needed will be notified by their supervisor regarding an alternative work schedule. Employees should check their email for further instruction.                  

    Again, we are extremely mindful that the re-opening of schools is very important to parents and students, but safety must come first. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this difficult time, and we are making the best decisions we can based upon collaborative information provided by local, state, and federal authorities.

    We encourage our parents, students, and staff to stay safe and continue to follow the instructions provided by local emergency management officials. With record amounts of rainfall, residents should be aware that flash flood conditions exist. People should avoid washed out bridges and roads. Do not move or drive around barricades. Follow directions issued by local public safety officials.

    Our thoughts and well-wishes remain with our local governments and municipalities, first responders, public service personnel, utility works, non-profit relief personnel, and the many thousands who continue to provide support to our community.

    Please continue to follow us on our website, Facebook and Twitter as we will post an update on Wednesday, September 19, by 2 p.m. regarding the status of schools for the remainder of the week.



    Updated: September 16, 2018, 2:45 p.m.

     

    HCS Parents and Staff,

     

    Governor Henry McMaster has rescinded the evacuation order for Horry County beginning at 9 a.m. this morning and the re-opening of schools and the District Office will be handled at the local level. Horry County Schools will remain closed on Monday, September 17, 2018; however, employees who work 240 and 246 days are asked to report to work on Monday, September 17, 2018, as normally scheduled. HCS staff will continue to assess any damage to our facilities, monitor power outages, and work towards the re-opening of our schools.

     

    Flooding in Horry County continues to be a concern over the next week as the rivers will rise to historic levels similar to Hurricane Matthew. We are working closely with Horry County Emergency Management, local municipalities, and SCDOT regarding the potential road closures that could affect our area and potential challenges for school transportation routes.

     

    We encourage our parents, students, and staff to stay safe and continue to follow the instructions provided by local emergency management officials during the re-entry and recovery process.

     


    Updated September 15, 3:15 p.m.

    HCS Parents and Staff,

    Horry County Schools and the District Office will be closed on Monday, September 17, 2018, and will remain closed until we received further direction from the Governor’s Office.HCS staff and personnel who may be needed during the recovery process will be notified by their supervisor regarding an alternative work schedule. Staff will continue to assess any damage to our facilities, monitor power outages, and work towards the re-opening of our schools.

    Flooding in Horry County continues to be a concern over the next week as the rivers will rise to historic levels similar to Hurricane Matthew. We are working closely with Horry County Emergency Management, local municipalities, and SCDOT regarding the potential road closures that could affect our area and potential challenges for school transportation routes.

    We encourage our parents, students, and staff to stay safe and continue to follow the instructions provided by local emergency management officials.

    Please continue to follow us on our website, Facebook and Twitter as we will continue to post updates.


    Updated September 12, 2018 11:05 a.m.

    Dear HCS Family,

    Hurricane Florence continues to be an incredibly strong storm and is moving towards the west-northwest. The latest track has the storm slowing down considerably by Friday, which means our area could see significant impacts throughout this weekend and possibly into early next week due to the increase in wind and rainfall. By executive order of Governor McMaster, our schools will remain closed until further notice. The timeline for reopening schools will be determined by the status of the evacuation orders and the degree of impact to our facilities.

    We encourage our parents, students and staff to stay safe and continue to follow the instructions provided by local emergency management officials.

    Please continue to follow us on our website, Facebook and Twitter as we will continue to post updates after the storm as long as we have power to do so.

     


    Updated: September 10, 2018, 3:07 p.m.

    By executive order, Governor McMaster has announced that public schools in 26 counties, including Horry County Schools, will be closed in preparation for the evacuation due to Hurricane Florence beginning on Tuesday, September 11, and will remain closed for the rest of this week. This cancellation applies to all school-sponsored extracurricular activities and sporting events.

    Once the evacuation order has been lifted and re-entry has been completed, school officials will inspect all school facilities to ensure that building utilities are fully operational and all hazards have been removed before schools are re-opened.

    Again, all Horry County Schools will be closed on Tuesday, September 11, through Friday, September 14. After the storm passes, HCS will re-evaluate the situation and provide an update on Sunday, September 16, regarding the status of school closures/openings. This update will be communicated via the District’s website, HCS and local news stations, HCS App, email and telephone notification systems, Facebook and Twitter pages.

    Additional hurricane information can be found on Horry County’s website at http://www.horrycounty.org/Departments/EmergencyManagement/Hurricanes. This link contains information on evacuation routes and maps, re-entry information, shelters, etc. Citizens can also call Horry County Emergency Management at (843) 915-5150 for more information.

     


    Updated: September 9, 2018, 6:52 p.m.

    Good evening parents,

    Horry County Schools will operate on a normal schedule on Monday, September 10. The District will continue to monitor weather conditions and await formal direction from the Governor’s Office should an evacuation order be given in the next few days.

    Again, HCS is mindful that a change in a school schedule creates changes in schedules for all of our families, and we are committed to providing as much notice as possible. Any change to our school schedule will be communicated via the District’s website, HCS and local news stations, HCS App, email and telephone notification systems, Facebook and Twitter pages.

     



    September 9, 2018, 11:40 a.m.

    The District has been communicating with local and state officials and will wait to see if Governor McMaster orders evacuations before making any closing decisions. HCS is mindful that a change in a school schedule creates changes in schedules for all of our families, and we are committed to providing as much notice as possible. 

    When a mandatory evacuation order is given, 12 Horry County schools could open as shelters and are operational within four hours of the order. A listing of shelters can be found here.
     
    School closures, early dismissals or delays will be communicated on the District’s website, HCS and local news stations, HCS App, email and telephone notification systems, Facebook and Twitter pages.
     
    • Learn more about how HCS makes weather-related decisions here