Update for March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Dear Kershaw County School District Families:

We will hold our monthly board meeting tonight.  At tonight’s meeting, I will give the board an update on our current operational status and response to the COVID-19 virus.  If you go to the district’s website later this evening, you will be able to watch a video of the meeting.  This month we will eliminate all agenda items and focus on our COVID-19 response.  Additionally, on advice from the South Carolina School Boards Association, our public forum agenda item will be removed until we get through the current health crisis.

We have been operating four sites (Bethune Elementary, North Central Middle, Camden High, and Blaney Elementary) for food service since Monday.  I am happy to report that starting Wednesday, the food service department will partner with the transportation department to begin delivering food along their current bus routes.  Buses will pick up meals from the four feeding sites by 9:30 AM and will begin their routes after loading. Lunch for the current day as well as breakfast for the next day will be delivered at one time. You do not need to sign up; we will provide the free food to any student at the bus stop. Thank you to all involved for establishing standard operating procedures to get this accomplished.  I am incredibly proud of both departments for maximizing resources to reach as many children as possible.

Our IT Department has started a tracking list of students with breaks, lost chargers, etc.  Currently we have 115 students without devices or functioning devices. A majority of them were left at the school.  They have been recovered and are in the front offices ready for pick up tomorrow. All of our building and district-level IT employees are working both the help lines and conducting device repairs to ensure our students have the tools they need.  If there is a transportation issue for a parent to pick up a device, we will deliver them to the home. As a reminder, our tech hotline number is 803-425-8916. Lines are being staffed from 8 am to 8 pm Monday thru Friday.

Late this afternoon I received a memo from the state superintendent stating that South Carolina intends to suspend all federally-required testing during spring 2020 and requests a waiver of those testing requirements, including ESSA's 95 percent assessment participation requirement.  Also, South Carolina intends to request a waiver to delay the identification of any school for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement based upon 2019-20 and will apply for a hold-harmless provision and keep ratings from the 2018-19 state report cards in place until the 2020-21 school year.

Dr. Shane Robbins, ATC