• Horry County Schools Hurricane Florence Information

    School closing

    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