Aiken County eases students back to classrooms for in-person learning

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 5:28 PM EDT
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AIKEN CO., SC. (WRDW/WAGT) - The number of students physically in school is increasing in some of our other counties.

Aiken County middle and high schoolers on the hybrid model started their first week of in-person classes for four days a week on Monday. But each school is taking on the challenge differently.

Next week, the schools will be as close to back to normal as they’ve been since before COVID-19: Five days a week. Full classrooms. All starting next Wednesday.

“They felt the time was now to go based off of all the information that they were able to gather,” Mike Rosier with Aiken County Schools said.

Rosier says the board thinks the numbers are in a good place. So, this week is just a warm-up to see how students are with four days a week.

“Masks will be worn throughout the day now, and so that’s one of the things that has changed,” Rosier said.

That’s because social distancing is harder with more students. But there will be mask breaks. And each school will handle distancing and safety measures based on their building and class sizes.

“So, they can keep as much distance as possible in their lunchroom environment,” Rosier said.

Some schools may add more time in between classes to keep students from packing the hallways.

“I don’t think it’s safe for the teachers. I don’t think it’s safe for the kids. There’s too many kids crammed in tiny little rooms,” Deb Mims said.

Mims is raising her two grandchildren. She says they’ll continue learning from home for the rest of the year.

“It’s been difficult for us to teach him. He’s not getting anything at home,” Kimberley Bledsoe said.

But Bledsoe’s son is special needs. She says he and his twin sister respond better to teachers.

“Literally, she’s been bored to tears- like crying,” Bledsoe said. “I hope that they stay face to face, because like I said, they’re not getting anything out of it at home.”

The school system says they are working on getting dividers for desks installed in schools.

The only students who can go in-person are those that were enrolled in hybrid learning. AIKEN iNNOVATE students can change at the end of the semester.

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