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What happened to 16,000 S.C. students? State doesn’t know

The South Carolina Department of Education is finalizing a plan on getting in contact with students the state has lost track of.
The South Carolina Department of Education is finalizing a plan on getting in contact with students the state has lost track of.(WRDW)
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 7:44 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - According to a survey conducted by the South Carolina Department of Education, schools have not been able to make contact with 16,085 students across the state since they were closed because of the pandemic in March.

The survey released Tuesday afternoon includes responses from every school district in South Carolina. Senator Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington) said she is concerned about the safety of some of these students.

"These aren't numbers these are real children. We need to find out what's going on," she said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said they are working on finalizing a plan on getting in contact with these students. The Department of Education is sending a checklist out to all principals to use as guidance.

School districts we spoke with across the state said they used creative ways to check in on students. Dr. Jaime Hembree is the Superintendent for McCormick County Schools District. She said since mid-March the small school district had a handful of students they couldn't get in touch with.

"We found out some of those students moved out of state to live with other family," she said.

According to the survey released Thursday, McCormick County reported one student was unaccounted for.

Some summer academic recovery camps are scheduled to start as soon as next week in South Carolina.

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