Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - Lexington County School District One’s administrators recently presented the School District’s Board of Trustees a plan for returning to school in the 2020–2021 academic year that should begin in August. This plan was developed to make provisions for the protection of students, their families, and district staff as the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The district conveyed these plans to students and parents in a letter to them sent either by E-Mail or the US Mail if necessary, depending upon what method a parent had requested they receive communications from the district throughout each year. In that letter, District Superintendent Dr. Greg Little wrote, “Keeping our more than 27,300 students and 4,000 employees safe while providing a high-quality education remains the district’s top priority.”
“Certainly, our number one goal is to return to school as normal and as soon as possible. But with the current rates of COVID-19 and with our number one goal being keeping your children and our staff safe, we designed a face-to-face option that minimizes risk as well as a virtual (online) option for elementary, middle and high schools,” Little wrote.
The plan presented by Little to the board included the two options. They were developed after a lengthy process of researching, planning, surveying parents and students, conducting focus groups and creating workgroups. The district has developed a page on their website where parents can learn much more about those proposals. It can be found by going to the website by following this link. https://www.lexdistrict1.com/stronger-together
The school district went through many steps to come up with their plan. They even held a virtual town hall where 8,666 parents and 2,466 staff members participated. Little called that meeting, “Wonderful.”
After this long, multi-step process, the plan was presented to the board for their input and review. Lexington District One's Board of Trustees is blessed in that it includes two brilliant physicians who are currently serving. Dr. Brent Powers is the Lexington Medical Center's Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Kyle Guyton is a pediatrician, an expert in the holistic approach to caring for children’s and adolescent’s physical and mental health. He is one of the principal owners in SouthernMED, a small chain of very successful medical practices. The entire board could look to these two for a levelheaded but informed source of the latest medical information if they had further questions regarding the plan. The board had the final say in approving the plan.
They, like every parent and staff member should, needed to look at and appreciate the scope of the work that went into developing the plan so that students and parents would have several options. It was exhaustive work. Now, with this plan, the adults can continue to do what they feel is right for their students and themselves.
Please remember, every child is different, and every parent may have a different level of thought regarding what is the “right” thing for their student. Like the remainder of the nation, South Carolinians, and thus the staff, parents or guardians, and students of Lexington District One should exercise some personal responsibility in planning for the safety of themselves and their loved ones during these unprecedented times. You, not the government, have the option of deciding what level of risk you are willing to accept for your family. With this plan, the district has given everyone several options for doing just that.