Important Health Information

Coronavirus Prevention Update
Posted on 03/06/2020
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Updated March 15, 2020 - 4:40 p.m.

This afternoon, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster declared that all schools in the state will remain closed through March 31 to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

All information about how SDPC is adjusting to the extended closure can be viewed by clicking here.

Over the past week, the School District of Pickens County has been preparing for the possibility of closure. Through the coming weeks, our first goal is to support families, students, and staff who are medically or economically impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Our second goal will be to continue to find ways to do what we can, how we can, to educate students as much as we can.

On Friday, SDPC presented our plan for Digital Learning in the event of long-term closure to the South Carolina Department of Education. The plan was approved, and can be viewed by clicking here.

We are fortunate that SDPC students were already scheduled to be out of school for the next two days. Tomorrow and Tuesday, school and district leadership will continue to refine our plans for supporting students and families. Our top priorities include:

• Food service for students in need
• Access to student medication that may be stored at schools
• Educational resources and activities for families
• Continued online instruction

SDPC will follow up in the coming days with more detailed information on these topics, and teachers will follow up with you about specific plans for their classes.


Update: March 13, 2020 - 2:00 p.m.

SDPC is continuing to monitor the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and assess potential impact on schools. At this time, there are 12 presumed positive or confirmed cases in South Carolina, none of which are located in Pickens County. However, our precautions in schools have been planned with the assumption that we may have unreported cases in our community, and we have established a Coronavirus Task Force that is closely following developments related to COVID-19. Below is information on several issues related to coronavirus and schools:

 

Field Trips and Travel

SDPC is canceling all out-of-state travel, including field trips and athletic trips, effective immediately, until further notice.  In addition, SDPC schools will not schedule any new field trips of any kind, regardless of location. Currently scheduled in-state trips will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. SDPC staff should not schedule any new out-of-state travel. (Note: training required for staff certification will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.)

 

Athletics

SDPC is awaiting the South Carolina High School League's decision on whether athletic events will be canceled.

 

Possibility of Closure

The decision to close schools due to coronavirus would only be made under direct guidance from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina Department of Education. At this time, state agencies have not directed school districts to close. State officials have made it clear that decisions to close schools for COVID-19 should not be made independently by local school districts.

 

However, the SC Department of Education advised districts to submit plans for distance learning in the event that schools are closed for an extended period. Although Digital Learning Days were not designed to replace classroom instruction for extended periods, our instructional services department is working on strategies and technology that would allow us to continue offering e-learning over longer periods of time. We are fortunate to be among the first districts in SC to begin using Digital Learning Days to continue instruction when school is canceled, and the experience of Digital Learning Days during inclement weather has given SDPC a tremendous advantage in the event of long-term closure.

 

Click here to view the plan SDPC submitted to the state in case of long-term closure.

 

Our goal in case of an extended closure will be to do what we can, how we can, to educate students as much as we can.

 

Attendance

SDPC is continuing to monitor daily school attendance. If you have questions about excuses for a specific absence, please contact your school office.

 

Cleaning

Schools have been instructed to refrain from assigning any non-cleaning duties to custodial staff to allow daily disinfecting of common surfaces such as door knobs, light switches, and tabletops. School food services staff is also making adjustments to cafeteria procedures to limit student contact with common areas. In addition, while school is out on March 16-17, we will perform a deep cleaning of all schools, including the use of high-volume disinfectant sprayers in large common areas such as gymnasiums and cafeterias.

 

Know the Symptoms

All SDPC Nurses have been trained in identifying coronavirus symptoms and have established a protocol for steps to take in the case of a suspected case of coronavirus. So far, SDPC has referred no suspected coronavirus cases to DHEC.

The Centers for Disease Control lists three symptoms of coronavirus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Please be familiar with these symptoms and see a doctor if you, your child, or a family member begins to show signs of illness.  The Medical University of South Carolina and PRISMA Health are also offering virtual screening for coronavirus for free online to all South Carolina residents.

 

4K Screenings

Screenings for 4K that were scheduled for March 18 have been postponed. SDPC will schedule a new screening date and inform registered parents.

 

Other Resources

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 

SC-DHEC COVID-19 Information Page