Remote learning total up to 9 schools in Sumter district; 3 more added beginning today


Amid the wildfire spread of the omicron variant, the COVID-19 school shuffle in Sumter School District continues with three more schools shifting to remote learning today temporarily.

The additions announced Wednesday afternoon include Crosswell Drive Elementary School, R.E. Davis College Preparatory Academy and seventh graders at Furman Middle School. Now all or portions of nine of the district's 24 schools are in remote learning.

The switches to remote instruction, according to district Executive Director of Communication and Community Engagement Shelly Galloway, are because of the growing number of virus cases and low staff availability.

While in remote learning, she said, students follow their class schedules, and Google links are posted in Schoology. If a student's Chromebook was left at school, parents may retrieve it from the school's front office area.

In another statement, the district again urged all community members to continue to practice mitigation strategies, such as washing their hands, physical distancing, wearing a mask, staying home if they have symptoms or are in the process of getting tested, and covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze.

The total list of schools currently in remote learning include the following, with student return dates shown in parenthesis:
* Crosswell Drive Elementary School (Monday);
* R.E. Davis College Prep. Academy (Tuesday);
* Furman Middle School - 7th graders (Wednesday);
* Sumter High School (Monday);
* Alice Drive Elementary School (Monday);
* Lemira Elementary School (Monday);
* Willow Drive Elementary School (Monday);
* Alice Drive Middle School (Monday);
* Chestnut Oaks Middle School - 6th and 7th graders (Monday).

On Friday, all Sumter district schools will have an e-learning day due to the anticipated severe weather conditions, Galloway said in another district announcement. This means district schools and office buildings will be closed and lessons and assignments will be posted in Schoology for students. Since the district is an approved e-learning district in South Carolina, the day will not have to be made up.

Students will complete e-learning assignments at a later time if they are unable to participate due to power outages, lack of internet service or other barriers, she added.

Sumter school board's Policy Committee is scheduled to meet tonight at 6 p.m. at the district office, 1345 Wilson Hall Road. The meeting is open to the public, but seating is limited to first come, first served because of COVID-19.

For those not physically attending, the district continues to broadcast meetings live on YouTube.

Anyone wanting to attend the meeting virtually can do so via YouTube Sumter School District Board Meeting and the district's Facebook page, @SumterSCSchools.