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HCS Re-opening Task Force Update

Released June 25, 2020

On Monday, June 22, 2020, the South Carolina Department of Education’s AccelerateED Task Force released the final version of its Guidance and Recommendations for 2020–21 School Year (See the complete document at https://tinyurl.com/y7qmvh5k). The purpose of this state-level committee’s work is to provide guidance and recommendations to all South Carolina school districts as they move toward opening their schools in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In making preparations for the new school year, Horry County Schools (HCS) has established the HCS Re-opening Task Force in order to formulate a comprehensive plan which will utilize the work of the AccelerateEd Task Force, while at the same time taking into consideration the individual needs of our school district. The HCS Re-opening Task Force is made up of several sub-committees which will identify and develop plans to address pandemic concerns, as well as challenges unique to Horry County such as its geographic size.  In addition to district staff members and principals, we have included on our task force teachers, parents, and students to address challenges facing us in the following areas: Public Health & Safety, School Operations & Logistics, Teaching & Learning, Equity & Family Needs, and Social-emotional Health.  

Each subcommittee member will spend a significant amount of time reading plans from other states and districts, studying the AccelerateED Task Force’s guidance and recommendations, and discussing the implications of proposals from their representative points of view and/or areas of expertise.  

Also, as a part of developing our comprehensive plan, we will survey parents and employees in order to gain a better understanding of how our stakeholders think our instruction/campuses should look when we open schools again.  We want to make certain that our stakeholders provide their valuable feedback as we plan for the challenges that lie ahead. 

This fall, we know that school will look different from years past, but our goal is to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for all students and staff members with instruction delivered in the most effective way possible. In accordance with the recommendation of the AccelerateEd Task Force to notify the community at least 20 days in advance of the scheduled first day of the 2020–21 school year, August 17, 2020, the HCS Re-opening Task Force will have a plan ready to share with parents, employees, and the public by July 27, 2020.