The Fort Mill School District laid out a plan Monday to ensure in-classroom learning can happen safely this fall.
The district will require the use of face coverings for students and staff and will provide masks for any person who cannot provide their own.
In addition to the masks, the district plans to install Plexiglas shields in elementary schools where class size may limit social distancing options.
Fort Mill leaders say the requirements come following new data on the coronavirus along with additional feedback from staff and parents. Earlier this week, Katie Harris, with SC for Ed, an organization that advocates for teachers, praised the district's focus on health and safety. She is also a teacher in the Fort Mill School District and told us she's been hearing from teachers who are concerned about returning to school this fall.
"Teachers want to go back to work. We want to be able to be with our kids, but we want to be safe."
Fort Mill school leaders also announced the registration window for the Fort Mill Virtual Academy will be extended until July 17 to allow parents more time to determine if they would like to register for virtual learning or return to in-person learning in August.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster held a press conference July 10 and said he intended to reopen schools this fall.
"It's important to have schools be open for a variety of reasons," he said. It's not healthy for children to be out of school for emotional and learning reasons."
During a visit to Charlotte on Monday, the CDC director said the health risks of keeping kids out of the classroom could be worse than sending them back in August.
"Seven million children in this nation get their mental health assistance in school. Many students get their breakfast and lunch in school," Robert Redfield said on Tuesday alongside Mecklenburg County officials. "Schools are really important for mandatory reporting of child abuse or sexual abuse. Obviously, the socialization that occurs in schools."