Sumter School District's plan could get state approval early next week

Manning-based school system is also among the final 14


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The state Department of Education hopes to announce the approval of the remaining districts' reopening plans that have not already been approved, including Sumter School District, at one time next week.

The state agency said earlier that it hoped to approve all 14 remaining plans this week for the upcoming school year, but late arrivals of a couple plans has likely moved that date back, according to Chief Communications Officer Ryan Brown, who spoke Thursday with The Sumter Item.

The state department received the reopening plan for Horry County School District - the third-largest school district in the state - on Tuesday, Brown said. The Sumter district plan was received about 10 days ago on July 28.

Clarendon School District Two, based in Manning, is also among the 14 remaining districts awaiting approval.

"We've got all the plans now," he said, "and, unless there is somebody that we can't approve for whatever reason, I think the plan is to have them all done and announced on the same day. It looks like early next week, hopefully."

Sumter's plan calls for reopening in a fully virtual, online capacity on Friday, Aug. 28, and re-evaluating every 30 days if it can phase in a hybrid model, depending on local COVID-19 incidence rates and safety.

The hybrid model of instruction would be a blend of online and in-person instruction weekly. The district has said its desire is also to shift to full, regular classroom attendance when it is feasible and safe.

In the spring, the state General Assembly gave the state superintendent final authority on approving districts' reopening plans.

Public school students across the state have the option of remaining in full virtual instruction throughout the school year, given the coronavirus pandemic.

In the last few weeks, the state department has emphasized virtual instructional options this fall will be enhanced with more accountability from the spring term, when COVID-19 school closures required emergency remote learning.


Sumter School District's Board of Trustees approved various administrative personnel moves for the upcoming school year Monday night at a special-called meeting.

A district spokeswoman distributed the board's unanimously approved list of staff changes - which were based on the recommendation of the superintendent - on Thursday.

Administrator Robin Mixon is the district's new coordinator of attendance, replacing Maria Thomas, who retired. Mixon was previously the district's coordinator of School Support Services.

Three assistant principals were also approved in Monday's personnel report. Jermaine White has been named an assistant principal at Crestwood High School. Floydean Palmer-McLeod is now in the same post at Chestnut Oaks Middle School, and Tonyetta Thomas accepted the position at Crosswell Drive Elementary School.