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Lancaster schools ramps up security for new school year

Lancaster County staggered schedules on the first day to avoid traffic congestion that caused major problems last year.

LANCASTER, S.C. — School leaders in Lancaster County are addressing concerns over heavy traffic as the district resumes classes Monday. 

District leaders say they've already staggered schedules on the first day of school after congestion plagued the first day of school in Indian Land last year. The plan to stagger schedules was made to get buses and school traffic in and out quickly. With that in mind, school officials are asking parents to be patient while in the pick-up and drop-off lines Monday. 

In addition to traffic changes, Lancaster Public Schools is increasing security on campuses this year. New policies students will see include clear backpacks at big events. 

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"We're enhancing security, we're adding more metal detectors this year, we're also adding more K-9 searches," superintendent Jonathan Phipps said.

Like many other districts in the Carolinas, Lancaster County is dealing with labor shortages and is working to fill teacher vacancies. Overall, the county says it's in good shape when it comes to bus drivers with about five openings in the district. 

"We're in pretty good shape at this point," Phipps said. "We've got a great staff here in Lancaster County and we've got veteran bus drivers and we feel good about where we're at in that regard. They take care of the kids and they'll get the job done, we'll be sure of that."

Lancaster County officials said they're not expecting COVID-19 to interfere with school schedules this year and they're pushing for a normal school year. 

Contact Tradesha Woodard at twoodard1@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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