West Columbia, SC -- District administrators and the Lexington Two Board of Trustees met on July 16, 2020, to discuss draft plans for reopening schools this fall. In these uncertain times, our goal is to give families a choice of instruction that will be best for their child for the 2020-21 school year.
The board approved a new start date of September 8 for the school year, following the recommendation of the governor. This will not only allow more time to potentially lower COVID-19 cases but give school districts like ours more time to continue securing PPE and to set up new procedures and protocols for nearly every aspect of the school day.
While our goal is to reunite students and teachers in schools as soon and as safely as possible, the trending “high” numbers of COVID-19 cases in Lexington County, as reported by DHEC, continue to pose health and safety challenges. As a result of the current high numbers of cases in our community, and in an abundance of caution to protect employees, students and families, the board at its July 16 meeting endorsed a hybrid/blended plan for face-to-face instruction to start the new school year, in which 4K-12 students will attend in-person learning two days a week and virtual learning three days a week. The board noted that the hybrid/blended plan, with only 50 percent of students in the building at one time, allows for the smallest class sizes and maximum safe distancing. The hybrid/blended plan pairs with the previously announced Lexington Two Virtual Academy program, a full-time virtual learning plan for 5K-12 students. In developing these two choices, Lexington Two leaders continue to monitor results of family/employee surveys as well as the health/safety guidance from local, state and national sources, information released this week by the governor, guidance from the state superintendent of education, and recommendations of the AccelerateED task force report. Details of the hybrid/blended instructional plan will be released in the coming days.
While endorsing a more measured hybrid plan for the start of school on September 8, the board’s goal is to reunite students and teachers for 5-day face-to-face instruction as quickly and as safely as possible. Therefore, as the September 8 start date nears, if COVID cases go down from current levels to an acceptable level as assessed by DHEC and other guidance, the district would act to move to 5-day in-person instruction, still pairing with the Lexington Two Virtual Academy program.
The deadline has been extended to August 1 for families to apply to the Lexington Two Virtual Academy program. More information on the program and an application are available at lex2.org/virtualacademy/