Darlington County Schools announced today, their plans to pivot to virtual learning, beginning January 4th, for two weeks, citing a surge in local COVID-19 cases.
Here's the statement from Darlington County Schools:
A message from Dr. Tim Newman, DCSD superintendent:
From the beginning of the pandemic, we have remained committed to doing all we can to protect our students, our staff, and our families from COVID-19 while ensuring our students receive the education and services they need and deserve. I believe most of our students do best in a face-to-face learning environment, and I was truly hoping we would be able to return to school once the Christmas break was over.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 numbers in our community, our state, and the nation continue to increase at an alarming rate. As I write this, Darlington County has 625 active COVID-19 cases, and our 7-day positivity rate (the percent of tests that turn out to be positive) is 29 percent..
After consulting with DHEC, our medical community, and other DCSD stakeholders, our Board of Education and I have made the decision to shift all Darlington County School District (DCSD) students to virtual education for the next two weeks. DCSD schools will operate virtually Jan. 4 through Jan. 15, 2021. All DCSD schools and buildings will be closed until Jan. 19, 2021. There will be no athletic or extracurricular activities during that time, including practices, conditioning, or matches. Our schools will be sending more information in the next few days.
This time last year, no one imagined what 2020 would hold. But throughout the year, we’ve worked together to support each other, to protect each other, and to ensure our children continue to get the education they need. I don’t know what 2021 will hold, but my deepest wish and most frequent prayer is that our community heals, our students and families remain safe, and we emerge from this time stronger, healthier, and more committed to our loved ones and each other. It is our hope that we will be able to return to in-person classes for our face-to-face students on Jan. 19, 2021. To make that happen, we need you to please be safe and take all the precautions: Observe social distancing, avoid crowds, wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently.
I look forward to a 2021 that allows us to return to face-to-face learning and time with friends and family. I pray that 2021 brings you and your family health and happiness.
Tim Newman, Ed.D.
Darlington County School District