Rural SC, GA counties differ on back-to-school plans

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 6:29 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Jefferson, Jenkins, Hancock, Bamberg, and Orangeburg counties all seem to have two things in common: they’re all rural and they all have the highest COVID-19 rates per 100,000 people in the CSRA.

We decided to take a look at the school plans for rural Georgia and South Carolina counties.

Hancock County has the highest amount of cases per 100,000 people of our counties. Their schools plan to be fully online when they go back a week from Monday. It’ll stay that way until October 5 and then they’ll reevaluate.

The next highest in our Georgia counties is Jenkins. Parents there can pick virtual or face to face, according to the superintendent. If you want your child to learn from home, let them know by July 28. The first day of class is Aug. 24.

Next up in Georgia is Jefferson County. All students will be online starting Aug. 10. On Sept. 9, parents will pick if their child stays online or goes traditional. One mom said internet access isn’t easily available to everyone there, including her daughter’s friends.

“Several of her friends that will be coming to my home to do it -- use the internet and do their classes online,” Lithia Sharpe said.

She says its a problem rural school districts need to keep in mind.

“The biggest thing is the internet, Sharpe said. “If they’re gonna do the virtual, making sure these kids have access to it.”

Looking at South Carolina, there are high case numbers in Bamberg County. District one’s first day is Aug. 17. They say the plan will be released over the next two weeks. Bamberg County School District 2 is also hammering out their plans.

In Orangeburg County, every student will start virtual. K-8 begins Aug. 24, and high school starts Aug. 31. As of now, the district says students will be able to return to face-to-face starting Sept. 14.

As we’re all learning, school plans can change rapidly. We’ll be keeping tabs on any school plan changes for you.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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