Governor extends school closings through April


Not unexpectedly, all schools in Lexington, Saluda, Aiken and all other counties across South Carolina will remain closed through the end of April. This, as the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to increase statewide.

Gov. Henry McMaster and state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman released a joint statement Tuesday afternoon, extending the current school closings:

“At this time, students, parents, and families should plan for South Carolina’s schools to remain closed through the month of April. Our dedicated teachers and school administrators have done a tremendous job in making it possible for our students to learn at home. We understand that the prospect of schools remaining closed for an extended period of time places stress and strain on parents and children. Rest assured, if there is any way to safely open our schools earlier, we will do that, but schools must remain closed to protect the health and safety of South Carolinians.”

On March 15, Gov. McMaster closed public schools for students and non-essential employees through March 31. Another executive order formally extending the K-12 school closings through April will be issued later this week, according to the Governor’s Office.

After Gov. McMaster issued his initial executive order, Lexington Three Schools shifted to its e-learning plan that had been piloted last year. Aiken County and Saluda County students also are participating in distance learning.

According to Mackenzie Taylor, Lexington Three’s Director of Public Information, “Lexington Three will continue to issue academic learning assignments and provide meals for students throughout the extended shutdown. More information on these plans can be found by visiting www.lex3.org and looking on the page dedicated to the COVID-19 shutdown.”

Officially, Lexington Three still plans to observe Spring Break during the week of April 6-10, as originally scheduled on the academic calendar. “During this week, no new academic assignments will be issued. However, our Student Feeding Program will continue to provide meals to children in the community,” Mrs. Taylor said via e-mail.

Gov. Master’s announcement also stated that the state’s public colleges, universities, and technical colleges “will be encouraged to maintain their existing plans to provide instruction through virtual learning.”