Laurens County School District #55 (LCSD 55) announced today that they will begin the school year on a e-Learning (red) schedule.

School opens tomorrow and District 55 was slated to open in a hybrid (yellow) model with students coming to school in-person on select days of the week. The red schedule would be in effect for the first week of school.  

On August 26, LCSD 55 Superintendent Dr. Ameca Thomas announced that, “According to the current community spread levels reported this week by DHEC, Laurens County’s spread risk is currently ranked as moderate. This means that we will start school on September 8 in the Hybrid Learning Phase (Yellow Phase). For the first week of school, the Green Team will attend on Tuesday, September 8, and Wednesday, September 9. The Gold Team will attend on Thursday, September 10, and Friday, September 11.”

Those plans changed on Monday. With COVID-19 cases still in flucuation, district officials made the decision to open in a virtual (red) environment. 

In school re-opening plans released in late summer, District 55 clarified the three levels of how students would attend school. If the spread risk is “Low” (Green Phase), students would attend school five (5) days per week while following all prescribed safety protocols. If the spread risk is “Moderate” (Yellow Phase), each student would be on campus two (2) days per week, and would be doing eLearning the remaining three days. The two days on campus are determined by the student’s last name (children in the same family with different last names will be assigned to the same group of students). If the spread risk is “High” (Red Phase), as it is currently, all students would participate in eLearning for all five (5) days of the week.  

District 55 released the following information on Monday afternoon:

"The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) released the most recent rating data for counties in South Carolina today, September 7, 2020. Laurens County, which had been “Moderate” for the prior two weeks, jumped back up to a “High” rating. Laurens County School District #55 (LCSD 55), based on the DHEC reports for the prior two weeks, had announced that they would begin school on September 8, 2020 on a “Hybrid” schedule. As a result of the most recent DHEC report, LCSD 55 Superintendent Dr. Ameca Thomas sent out a call alert to parents at approximately 2:00 p.m. today announcing a change from the “Yellow” hybrid phase schedule to the “Red” all eLearning schedule.

Thomas said, “We are certainly disappointed that we will not be able to bring our students into the school buildings as originally planned. Our greatest concern, of course, is for the health and safety of students, staff, and the broader community. This report from DHEC indicates that we have not yet turned the corner with this pandemic. We are, however, well prepared for this shift and we are excited to begin the new school year on September 8th.”

LCSD 55 is using the DHEC reports each week to determine the proper phase of operations for students and staff. A “High” rating triggers the “Red” phase, which is all eLearning."