Second Semester Declaration of Intent

Second Semester Declaration of Intent
Posted on 11/02/2020
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The first day of the second semester is January 20, 2021, and now it is time to prepare for it.  We need a Second Semester Declaration of Intent for every student.  It is due by Monday, November 23 at noon.

Click here to submit a Second Semester Declaration of Intent for each student

During the summer, we said each family would have the option of choosing between traditional (face-to-face & remote) instruction at a school or virtual instruction at Pickens County Virtual Academy (PCVA) for the second semester. 

  • The timeframe for making this choice starts on Monday, 11/2 and ends on Monday, 11/23 at noon
  • Access to the Second Semester Declaration of Intent will not be available after the deadline on Monday, 11/23 at noon.
  • The Second Semester Declaration of Intent is only for grades 5K-12. Virtual options are not available for      pre-K.
  • If you do not respond, your students will stay in the same placement as the first semester.  However, we request to have a declaration for all students.
  • If you submit and then change your mind, you can resubmit before the deadline.  The most recent response will be used to determine placement.

We understand the many perspectives regarding traditional versus virtual learning environments. We know this is a very important decision for each family. We want to provide clear information about school protocol, current Covid-19 conditions, and anticipated changes to assist you in making the right decision for your child. Several links below are included for additional information.

Cohorts: Since the beginning of the school year, our students have been organized by cohorts.  Cohorts are groups of students with the same classes and activities that stay together. This is effective for contact tracing and decreases the number of quarantines and positive cases in each school. The teacher and members of a student’s cohort will likely change if we experience a significant shift in student enrollment.

Staffing & Class Rosters: After we review the results of the Second Semester Declaration of Intent, class groupings, class sizes, class rosters, teaching assignments, and/or bus routes will most likely change. No new school choice applications will be accepted for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.  Additionally, grades will transfer to/from each learning environment.  We plan to notify parents of each student's learning environment placement before December 18th, 2020. Teacher assignments may not be complete at this time.

Social Distancing: The social distance between each student will depend on the number of students who choose to return to the classroom in each school. The range is currently 3 feet to 6 feet in most classrooms. If most students return face-to-face, then more students will be in the range of 3 feet to 4 feet.

Six-Week Windows: We monitor student and staff Covid-19 data daily to make effective decisions to keep our students and employees safe. We will continue to use more in person learning during our third six week window but may be required to blend remote learning more often during the fourth six-week window (January 11 - February 19). We will continue to communicate each six-week window at least two weeks in advance. 

COVID-19 and Flu Season: We are entering flu season.  We anticipate an increase in Covid-19 positives and quarantines during flu season.  The data supports that our students and employees have done an excellent job in each school and describes the current health and wellness of our staff and students related to Covid-19.  As of day 45, these are our current positive cases and quarantines: 

 

Student Positives: 17 (0.136%)
StudentQuarantines:364(2.91%)                                 
Employee Positives: 9 (0.45%)
Employee Quarantines: 54 (2.69%)

Remote learning is possible at the class, grade and/or school levels depending on the number of positives and quarantines at each school location. It is important that staff and students stay at home when sick to reduce spreading illnesses.

Exclusion and Contact Tracing:  Students with symptoms of Covid-19 and other flu-like illnesses, along with students who have been in close contact with a positive Covid-19 case, are conditions that require exclusion from school based on the most current DHEC guidelines and School Exclusion List.  Exclusions will likely increase as space in our schools decreases.

Limiting Large Meeting Spaces: One of the most effective practices is the elimination of large gatherings on each campus including eating breakfast and lunch together.  We understand that students prefer to eat breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria with their friends. However, with contact tracing it would be very difficult to keep track of students and their close contacts.  Many students eat meals in the classroom with their cohorts.

Cleaning: We are very pleased with the cleaning practices in each school. The daily routines put into place create a clean environment for everyone.

Staggered Starts and Dismissals: We will continue to stagger our arrival and dismissal times in order to enter and exit safely. 

Masks: We will continue our current plan for wearing masks. Students will be required to wear a face covering during transitions (in the hallways to and from class, during arrival/dismissal times, etc.) and any other time when six feet or more of social distancing is not possible.

Learning Environments: You may hear several terms that sound very similar but have different meanings.. As a reminder, the following describes each learning environment.

  • Traditional - Teaching and learning that takes place in person in an SDPC school.  This is also often called face-to-face.
  • Remote Learning - When traditional teaching and learning that normally takes place in person shifts to an online or distance delivery for an extended period of time. This delivery could be done synchronously and asynchronously online, or it may be provided through learning packets.
  • Virtual Learning - Teaching and learning that takes place almost entirely through the use of technology. (Example: Pickens County Virtual Learning Academy that uses learning platforms from VirtualSC, Odysseyware, & Edmentum)
  • eLearning - Teaching and learning that takes place during short periods of time during inclement weather. (Example: SDPC’s Digital Learning Days; #SDPCweatherproof)

We hope by providing this information you will be able to make the right decision about the second semester for your child.  Please remember that the deadline is Monday, November 23 at noon to submit your Second Semester Declaration of Intent.  Unfortunately, we won’t be able to extend this deadline or make exceptions. If you have questions, please contact us at SDPC2ndSemester@pickens.k12.sc.us.