School Board to hear fall opening plans at special meeting

The Lexington Three School District Board of Trustees has scheduled a special called meeting for tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 14) at 6 p.m. to receive an update on school reopening plans for the 2020-21 academic year.

The district’s new Superintendent, Dr. Ashley Atkinson, and other staff members are scheduled to brief the School Board on the effort to start school in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Classes originally have been scheduled to start on Monday, Aug. 17.

In late June, the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDOE) issued a 92-page guide developed by a statewide task force that began meeting in late April. That guide outlines specific criteria for school reopening after the 2019-2020 school year converted to distance education in mid-March in response to the expanding pandemic.

Students in Lexington Three and other districts around the state finished the year learning from home. Dr. Atkinson told The Twin-City News last week that the school district was hard at work on a plan that ideally will get most if not all area students back in their classrooms for the fall.

“Our average classroom size is a little over 800 square feet, so in theory that gives you enough room to socially distance in an average classroom,” the new Superintendent said. “We probably will have some families that don’t feel comfortable having their children come back to a face-to-face instruction. So, we’ll make sure that we have things in place to make sure their needs are met. If some students and parents don’t feel comfortable coming back, then that does give us a little more room to make sure that the students who are face-to-face have more room to socially distance.”

At tomorrow night’s meeting, the School Board also will hear first reading of school policy’s relating to “remote instruction” and “virtual meetings,” and they also will receive an update on options for the school building program. The meeting is open to the public with proper social distancing.