Aiken County superintendent stresses student safety is highest priority

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 9:31 PM EDT
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AIKEN, SC (WRDW/WAGT) - Just one day after they solidified their back-to-school plans, Aiken County School District officials were pushed to think again after Gov. Henry McMaster asked districts statewide to consider bringing kids back for a full 5-day schedule.

Still, Aiken County Superintendent King Laurence is moving toward holding a district meeting to discuss the McMaster proposal with student health remaining a priority as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

“When the governor made his announcement, we just decided that out of respect for him, and out of respect for the many people who agreed with that recommendation, that we did need to take another look at it,” Laurence said. “We needed to listen to more of our community, we needed to listen to the pediatricians, to parents, to our teachers, and revisit it.”

District leaders approved a model that allows for a four-phase plan for students to start the school year with a hybrid schedule — with some attending classes on campus and some learning at home.

Still, Laurence says the district has an advisory committee consisting of parents, teachers, and even doctors to help make recommendations on their back-to-school plans.

In the end, according to Laurence, it’s all about keeping everyone from students to teachers safe.

“As I’ve said from the very beginning of this, the safety of our students, the health of our students and our teachers is the primary responsibility,” Laurence said.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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