• Public Health and Safety

    HCS will be guided by the latest health and safety conditions in all facets of the HCS Re-opening Plan. Working closely with local health experts, state health agencies, and the CDC, HCS will exhaust our efforts to provide a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. Flexibility and adaptability are keys to the success of this school year, and we will make any necessary changes as needed in consultation with health experts.

    HCS has implemented the following procedures:

  • Classroom Design for Social Distancing

    • Custodial staff will create a schedule/chart for checking hand sanitizing stations regularly throughout the day. 
    • Custodial staff will create a schedule that allows for cleaning and sanitizing in between classes, at the beginning and end of days, etc.  
    • Custodial staff will create a plan for trash removal throughout the day and identify additional staff/volunteers as needed. 
    • Schools will consider assigning specific content-area teacher leads for cleaning materials in their areas. 
    • All desks will be six feet apart, if feasible, and facing in the same direction.
    • Students will be asked to bring only essential items (device, homework, etc.) into the schools.  If students must bring a bag, a clear one is recommended.
    • Teachers will limit the sharing/handling of school supplies, books, and other materials.
    • Classroom activities will include age-appropriate activities that encourage sound personal hygiene practices.

    Face Coverings

    • Schools will require the use of face coverings for all students, staff, contracted vendors, and visitors.
    • Students and staff in South Carolina public schools must wear a face-covering upon entering a school building, moving through hallways, during carpool/bus drop off or pick up, and when social distancing is not possible or optimal.
    • Student face coverings may be removed upon teacher or administrator direction while in the classroom or during special activities outside the classroom.
    • Schools will require all students to wear face coverings unless the circumstances dictate otherwise, i.e., while eating lunch, during physical activities, etc.
    • While all students are required to wear face coverings, 504 and IEP teams will determine if modifications and/or reasonable accommodations are needed for individual students with disability-related issues that prevent the student from wearing a face-covering in order to allow the student to safely participate in educational activities.
    • Students with medical issues that prevent them from wearing a mask should consult with the school nurse.
    • CDC does not recommend the use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. If face shields are used without a mask, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin. Disposable face shields should only be worn for a single-use.
    • View the COVID-19 Face Coverings Flyer

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout the buildings. 
    • Hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) will be provided at every building entrance and exit, in the cafeteria, and in every classroom for safe use by staff and older students.
    • Schools will require the use of face coverings for all students, staff, contracted vendors, and visitors.
    • Schools will require all students to wear face coverings unless the circumstances dictate otherwise, i.e., while eating lunch, during physical activities, etc.
    • Students with medical issues that prevent them from wearing a mask should consult with the school nurse.  

    Handwashing, Hand Sanitizers & Disinfectants

    • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout the buildings. 
    • Hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) will be provided at every building entrance and exit, in the cafeteria, and in every classroom for safe use by staff and older students.

    Pre-screening

    Monitoring for Symptoms

    • Educate staff, students, and families about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Perform daily self-checks before arriving at school (students and staff).
    • Dedicated spaces established in schools for symptomatic individuals.
    • A COVID-19 student/employee tracking system has been established.
    • Protocols are in place to work with state health officials for notification and prompt contract tracing of COVID-19 positive cases to determine necessary quarantining and facility cleaning.
    • Share established guidelines for returning to school after an exclusion.

    Notification of Symptoms & Cases

    Health Room & Isolation Area

    • Whenever symptoms of COVID-19 present at school, teachers will send students to the health room to be examined by the school nurse. If the school nurse believes the symptoms indicate the probability of COVID-19, a mask will be placed on the student, and parents will be notified immediately and asked to pick up the student from school.
    • Each school will establish a dedicated space for symptomatic individuals.  Until the arrival of the parent, the student will be isolated from other students in the dedicated space.  The student will be required to wear a mask while in the isolation room and until they exit the school building.
    • Parents should update health records and provide the school nurse with the latest health information on students.  It is important that all students have updated immunization records.
    • Parents should update contact and emergency phone numbers.
    • Parents will be given guidelines for the student returning to school after an exclusion. 

    Building Security

    HCS will continue to use School Resource Officers and School Safety Officers in all school buildings. HCS will limit access beyond the front reception area to visitors and parents. Student searches will continue. Students are recommended to limit the number of bags they bring into the buildings to assist with health precautions and limit the physical touching of bags and to also expedite the search process.  Clear bookbags are also recommended. School safety drills will also continue and additional social distance guidelines will be followed.