DCSD going online-only for 2 weeks
By Bobby Bryant
As the state’s COVID-19 numbers rise, the Darlington County School District has decided to go online-only for the first two weeks of the new semester, Jan. 4-15. The DCSD had planned to return to its mix of online and in-person classes on Jan. 4, as Christmas break ended. But in a statement issued Dec. 31, county Education Superintendent Tim Newman said officials had decided to keep all county school facilities closed for two weeks as a safety measure. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 numbers in our community, our state and the nation continue to increase at an alarming rate,” Newman said in a message posted on the DCSD’s Facebook page. “ … After consulting with DHEC, our medical community, and other DCSD stakeholders, our Board of Education and I have made the decision to shift all DCSD students to virtual education for the next two weeks,” Newman said. “DCSD schools will operate virtually Jan. 4 through Jan. 15.” No athletic competitions or extracurricular activities will be held during this time, Newman said. (The district had already suspended all sports for a few weeks.) Since county schools reopened in September, the DCSD has been using a three-tiered educational system. Students in kindergarten and elementary school have been attending in-person classes full-time. Middle- and high-school students have been dividing their time between in-person classes and online education. Thousands of DCSD students have chosen to enroll in the district’s Virtual Academy, a full-time, online-only program.