Some Sumter students tapped to begin in-person instruction


For Sumter’s youngest students and those who receive supplemental supports, Sumter School District will move to a hybrid/blended model of instruction on Oct. 1 and Sept. 28, respectively.

Superintendent Penelope Martin-Knox distributed a letter Friday afternoon to parents and families of district students to provide an update on the instructional transition.

According to her statement, English language learners and students who receive special education services in the district in all grades, pre-K-12, will begin blended instruction in just over a week on Monday, Sept. 28. Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade students will move to a blended model later that same week on Thursday, Oct. 1.

In the blended learning model, students will be divided into two groups. Group A will receive face-to-face classroom instruction on Mondays and Thursdays each week and virtual instruction remotely on Tuesdays and Fridays. Group B will have the reverse scenario: face-to-face classroom instruction on Tuesdays and Fridays and virtual instruction on Mondays and Thursdays. Both groups will continue to learn asynchronously – meaning independently and online that is not real-time instruction – on Wednesdays. On that day, teachers and staff will receive professional development, and staff will deep clean school facilities.

Martin-Knox said schools will provide families with additional information on class assignments and bus schedules.

The district will continue to re-evaluate and reassess data from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, staffing and logistics every two weeks, according to spokeswoman Shelly Galloway.

Timing of Phase 2 of the district’s hybrid plan – to include reintroducing second-, third- and sixth-grade students, as well as some high schoolers – will be contingent on schools’ COVID-19 rate data from DHEC, Martin-Knox said.