Laurens County School District #55 (LCSD 55) will remain in the Red “eLearning” phase of operations at least through Friday, September 18, 2020.

According to LCSD 55 Superintendent Dr. Ameca Thomas, “Our intention is always to give our community as much advance notice as possible regarding school operations. This past Monday, we were forced to make a quick decision based on the September 7 report from DHEC. That decision was consistent with board approved guidelines, as it required an immediate shift from hybrid to eLearning in response to an unexpected worsening of local COVID-19 conditions. We will re-evaluate this status based on the DHEC report scheduled to be released on September 14 but the earliest possible date for a shift in the learning phase will be Monday, September 21.”

Each Monday, LCSD 55 will review the threat status (low, moderate, or high) for the spread of COVID-19. The district designed its response to help reduce that threat as quickly as possible. If threat levels increase, the district will shift immediately to a more restrictive learning environment. If threat levels decrease, the district will plan to shift to a less restrictive environment at the beginning of the next school week.

It is possible that the district will start school on Monday in a less restrictive phase but, based on the DHEC report that comes out each Monday afternoon, make the decision to shift to a more restrictive phase on Tuesday.

District spokesperson, Ed Murray, clarified, “These decisions are based on the threat of spreading the disease and not on the number of actual cases that exist. Therefore, we may have a low number of cases while still being at high risk for the spread of COVID-19. It is the risk of spread that we are trying to reduce and that determines our phase of operations.”

“As a parent of students in LCSD 55,” added Thomas, “I understand the stress this uncertainty places on our families. As a district, we are committed to ensuring that both safety and educational opportunity are the foundations for the work we do and the choices we make. We do not make these decisions lightly but we must follow the existing protocol that has been put in place.”