Home News DISTRICT ANNOUNCES ELEARNING TRIGGERS
DISTRICT ANNOUNCES ELEARNING TRIGGERS
Having students attending school in-person now provides the district with disease activity data for our schools. Back in July when the Reopening Plan was developed we didn’t have school data and thus had to rely on county data.
The district’s Reopening Schools Plan provides a three-phase approach for returning to traditional school operations after the school buildings were closed at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Advancing from Phase 1 to Phase 2 and then from Phase 2 to Phase 3 is based on the county disease activity report provided by S.C. DHEC. The Reopening Plan was not designed to be used in assessing what should happen if disease activity increases during Phase 2 and Phase 3.
It was not sustainable for us to stay in Phase 1 indefinitely, and we followed our plan when it came to deciding when to begin Phase 2. It is also not sustainable for us to move back and forth between Phase 1 and Phase 2. That would be too disruptive. Now that we are in Phase 2, we must look at disease activity in our schools and make decisions based on those numbers.
To develop guidelines to use when making decisions on when to shift from in-person to eLearning, members of the district’s Senior Leadership Team, the Department of Accountability, Research and Evaluation and the district’s health coordinator met with a panel of medical officials on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. The panel included an infectious disease doctor and pediatrician from Prisma Health and the regional medical director from S.C. DHEC.
The team of medical professionals confirmed the following:
Based on the advice and input from the panel of medical professionals, district administrators have set the following eLearning Triggers.
Using community/county disease activity data was appropriate to use when developing the plan in July for phased-approach to returning to traditional school operations after the school buildings were closed at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
Now that the district is in Phase 2 of the Reopening Plan, school-level disease activity data should be used for setting the triggers for moving in-person students to eLearning at the classroom or school level.
The eLearning trigger at the classroom level should be based on S.C. DHEC guidelines that state if three or more COVID-19 cases are identified within a classroom within 14 days of each other, the students and staff in the classroom will quarantine for 14 days. Students will receive instruction through the eLearning delivery model.
There is no magic number of cases at the school level and no guidelines have been established by S.C. DHEC. Based on best practices for containing other illnesses that impact schools such as the flu, the recommended approach is to set a percentage between 25-30 as the trigger for switching from in-person to eLearning.
Additionally, the district must monitor the number of employees in isolation or quarantine and the impact those numbers have on the ability to provide food, custodial and transportation services.
Per S.C. DHEC guidelines: If three or more COVID-19 cases are identified within a classroom within 14 days of each other, the students and staff in the classroom will quarantine for fourteen 14 days. Students will receive instruction through the eLearning delivery model.
If 25% or more of a school’s in-person population (to include staff and students) is quarantined, the school will activate eLearning for 2-3 weeks. The percentage of those quarantined includes staff/students who have tested positive for COVID-19, those in isolation for symptoms, AND those who are identified as close contacts.
If operational services (e.g., transportation, meals, custodial) are extremely limited due to operations employees in quarantine/isolation, the school will activate eLearning until operational services are restored.
If operational services (e.g., transportation, meals, custodial) are extremely limited due to operations employees in quarantine/isolation, the district will activate eLearning until operational services are restored.
If contact tracing demands are high and/or an upcoming break limits the ability to conduct contact tracing, the district will activate eLearning for 2-3 days.