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Closure Info & Updates from D7

April 3, 2020 Update

District 7 Students and Families,

We hope you are enjoying spring break while following CDC guidelines for this pandemic in order to keep yourselves and our community healthy and safe. District 7 has been working diligently on our plans for extending the school closure period. Below you will find information on our eLearning and remote learning plans. We are working through many other details relating to our operations and student services in light of new guidance received from the South Carolina Department of Education this week. As soon as we have more information on these, we will share it with you. 

Middle and High School Curriculum

For our middle and high school students, eLearning will continue in the manner in which our students and teachers are accustomed. Teachers will be in touch with students to provide additional assignments.

Elementary Curriculum

At the elementary level, we have created a matrix with lesson plans for each grade that enable us to work in tandem across the district. Several of our teachers, curriculum specialists, principals and administrators have developed this curriculum. Please find below one matrix for each grade level, from kindergarten through fifth grade, covering two weeks of learning to begin Tuesday, April 7. Daily lessons cover Reading/Writing, Math, Science/Social Studies, Health/Social Emotional Learning, Art and Music and Physical Education. They are designed to engage students and families together in the learning process, keeping in mind that not all of our families have the same resources or access to WiFi. Our goal was to design work that would support the standards for each grade, that would not require school materials students do not have at home or internet access, and would not require purchasing items in order to complete the assignments.

Each matrix is a guideline that may be followed explicitly by teachers or that teachers may choose to augment based on their assessment of student needs and of their class’ current scope of learning. Teachers will continue regular communication and engagement with students and families in order to stay connected, to facilitate learning, and to provide support throughout this process. 

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Elementary Grade Levels Remote Learning Lesson Plans for April 7 - 17, 2020 

Kindergarten (PDF)

First Grade (PDF)

Second Grade (PDF)

Third Grade (PDF)

Fourth Grade (PDF)

Fifth Grade (PDF)

If your family would like to pick up printed copies of your grade level assignments, each elementary school will have these available from noon on Monday, April 6 until 8:30 am on Thursday, April 9. These materials will be placed outside of the schools in bins labeled for each grade level, enabling you to pick up any time that suits your schedule, day or night. Your school will communicate with you more about specific placement. 

We are working on another ten days of assignments and will share them soon. We are most appreciative of each teacher, principal, curriculum specialist and our communications division for their hard work on this project. We also thank each of our families for supporting the learning of their students at home. Our success in completing the school year during this pandemic would not be possible without the team approach between our district and our families.

 

March 27, 2020 Update

Dear District 7 Families,

As we complete our second week of remote and eLearning, I stand in awe of this community. Thank you for everything you are doing as we navigate these unprecedented and uncertain times. One thing I know for sure is that District 7 is full of amazing individuals, and collectively this community is strong. As we prepare for Spring Break, I want to share a few important updates. 

School Campus Closures Extended Through April 30, 2020 

As you are already aware, Governor McMaster issued a second executive order that extends our school campus closures until April 30. Our teachers and administrators are working hard to continue providing students with meaningful learning experiences as we enter this extended time of remote and eLearning. We will share more information about the process and timeline for students to receive their next assignments prior to April 6.

Spring Break Extended: Students Resume Learning Tuesday, April 7

In order to give our staff the additional opportunity to further prepare for the extended closure, Monday, April 6 will now be a teacher work day. We hope this gives your family one additional day to enjoy the break before returning to learning on Tuesday, April 7.

Rolling Out Student Internet Access with “Wi-Fi on Wheels”

Our transportation and technology departments have equipped five District 7 school buses with WiFi access in order to provide more support for students who do not have home internet service. Beginning Monday, April 6, we will deploy these buses each Monday and Thursday to a number of housing developments and communities. Students will be able to download any needed material during a two-hour window when the bus is in their area. WiFi can be accessed within 150ft of each bus.

See the “Wi-Fi On Wheels” schedule on this page to find out when a bus will be in your area.

Please also remember that many of our school campuses have available Wi-Fi access and you are welcome to drive to these sites (see the list here). It is important to remain inside your vehicles while on our campuses in order to follow the COVID-19 guidelines, and we ask that you adhere to this request so we may continue to provide this service.

Student Meal Service

District 7 has expanded our meal delivery to include spring break. On Thursday, 3 days of meals were provided to students. On Tuesday, March 31, 4 meals will be delivered via our school buses. We will not be offering grab-and-go meals at our drive-thru locations during Spring Break. The daily meal service via bus and drive-thru locations will resume on Monday, April 6.

District 7 has been granted a waiver that allows the parents to pick up the meals without the child being present. Parents will need to provide names of the students who will be receiving those meals at the time of pickup. 

I want to extend a very special thank you to our transportation and food service departments for their diligence in delivering meals to our students, both during the regular school session and especially during the break. Their dedication is both recognized and appreciated.

Testing Requirements and Grading

State and federal testing requirements have been waived for Spring 2020. Therefore, students will not be taking SC READY, SC PASS, end of course exams and other required state and federal assessments.

Consideration of the best approach to grading for the final nine-week period has been a priority at the local and state levels. We are blessed in District 7 to have the means to continue uninterrupted instruction through our robust digital platforms. However, we know inequities exist from home to home as it relates to our students’ capacities and resources to work in this manner. I know our students and families have questions regarding grading, and we will be providing guidance as soon as possible. Our teachers are mindful of the circumstances in which we are working as they introduce new concepts, assess student progress, and plan for the next several weeks.

The Class of 2020

The Spartanburg High School Class of 2020 will have much to talk about at their 10-year class reunion. They have epitomized the meaning of GRIT! If you are the parent of a senior, please know that we are working on ways to celebrate this class as they complete their time at SHS. A communication from SHS went out to all seniors and their families today with information to address the many questions these students have regarding the remainder of their year.

District 7 Updates and Important News During COVID-19

We have revised our website homepage to provide a collection of resources for students, staff and families throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. These links are duplicated on each school homepage as well. Please look to www.spartanburg7.org for updates and resources, such as a robust guide to remote and eLearning, a page highlighting the creative connections and learning taking place around the district while schools are closed, tips for families on social and emotional wellness during challenging times, meal service schedules, free Wi-Fi locations, updates on upcoming events, and more.

Forward Together

So, where do we go from here? We move forward together. Our first priority as a school system and community is to do everything within our power to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Please adhere to the guidance of our medical professionals, CDC, DHEC, and leadership and impress upon your children the importance of their doing the same. If they are out roaming or gathering in groups, it defeats the purpose of our schools being closed. This effort requires every citizen to do their part in order for us to return to a normal state.

While the weeks ahead will undoubtably be challenging, I have no doubt our students will be just fine in the long run. Times of adversity also bring opportunity, and our children’s time with you is an opportunity to learn and grow in ways that cannot be accomplished in school. We understand that our parents are juggling jobs, managing households, and sometimes caring for other family members while also supporting our children at home. Please take time over the coming weeks to take care of yourselves. We are thankful for all you are doing and we are here to support and help you in every way we can.

With appreciation and hope,

Russell W. Booker, Ph.D.
Superintendent

 

March 24, 2020 Update

Today, Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order that all South Carolina schools remain closed throughout the month of April. In accordance with this order, District 7 will continue with our remote and eLearning protocol and with our student meal services following spring break. Our administrators and teachers are working now on innovative approaches to teaching and learning that extend our eLearning in an effective manner through this timeframe. We will share more information regarding this process soon.

Every member of our District 7 community has done an incredible job of adapting to our school closure. The examples of creative learning, staying connected, and finding new ways to bring smiles to one another while we are apart are truly heartwarming. Our mission to inspire and equip has never been more evident than it is at this very moment. Look for a new webpage highlighting all that is going on across D7 later today! 

As spring break begins on Friday, we hope all members of our D7 community will take time to rest, restore, and enjoy family and friends. Thank you for your continued patience as we continue to work through this pandemic collectively. We look forward to resuming our focus on teaching and learning during the week of April 6.

 

Russell Booker
Superintendent 

Joint Statement from Gov. Henry McMaster, S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman today released the following joint statement announcing that South Carolina’s schools will remain closed for the duration of the month of April: “At this time, students, parents, and families should plan for South Carolina’s schools to remain closed through the month of April. Our dedicated teachers and school administrators have done a tremendous job in making it possible for our students to learn at home. We understand that the prospect of schools remaining closed for an extended period of time places stress and strain on parents and children. Rest assured, if there is any way to safely open our schools earlier, we will do that, but schools must remain closed to protect the health and safety of South Carolinians.”

 

March 23, 2020 Update

Spring Testing Suspended Today, District 7 received notification that federal requirements for spring testing and assessments have been waived as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The suspension of South Carolina's student assessments will allow educators to focus on meeting the needs of students and relieve undue anxiety faced by parents and students," said South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. "Our efforts must be concentrated on addressing this unprecedented public health pandemic. I appreciate Secretary DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education recognizing this and swiftly approving our waiver request."

For spring 2020, South Carolina will not administer any of the following assessment programs:

  • SC READY (English language arts and mathematics in grades 3–8);
  • SCPASS (science in grades 4 and 6);
  • End-of-Course Examination Program (English, Algebra, Biology, United States History and the Constitution) the requirement that these examinations count 20 percent has been waived;
  • Prekindergarten assessments; and
  • Alternate Assessments
The South Carolina Department of Education is also working closely with the vendors of college entrance, college credit, and workforce readiness assessments to explore innovative approaches, such as testing online. We will continue to share more information on these approaches as it becomes available.
 
March 15, 2020 Update
school closure graphic All Spartanburg County school districts will be closed for students beginning Monday, March 16 through the end of spring break, with a tentative date to resume of April 6, 2020.

Faculty and staff members (except those who are sick, already on approved leaves, or who are considered at high-risk for COVID-19 by their healthcare provider) are to report to work on Monday, March 16 for a teacher workday.

Any student or parents needing to pick up their backpacks, personal items, technology devices and educational materials, and medications may do so between the hours of 7:30am – 3:30 pm on Monday, March 16.

Complete information on operations, remote/eLearning procedures, and meal service during the closure period is available here. 

 
March 12, 2020 Update 

In an effort to keep the District 7 community informed of our monitoring and response of the coronavirus (COVID-19), this is an update to the communication shared on March 9.

Please note that there are no confirmed cases nor any known direct impact such as quarantines within District 7 households.

We will update you immediately and provide recommendations and next steps if a case of coronavirus should be confirmed by DHEC among District 7 students, staff or families. As a reminder, if a member of a student or staff member’s household has traveled in an area of outbreak, has come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, or is diagnosed themselves with coronavirus, please report this information to your school immediately.

District 7 continues to follow closely all developments and guidance from experts at the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our South Carolina Department of Education. Superintendents from all seven Spartanburg County districts reconvened this morning and our executive administrative team met this afternoon to assess all aspects of our operations.

Effectively immediately, all out-of-state field trips have been postponed. Principals are working diligently to find alternate dates and will share more information as soon as it is available. At present, our in-state field trips will continue as planned. No new travel will be planned for students or staff within the next 30 days.

We continue to monitor plans for large gatherings, particularly public events, and are making decisions on a case-by-case basis. No district-wide events have been cancelled at this time. School events that are postponed or cancelled will be communicated through school channels.  Please monitor our district and school social media sites and email communications for news of any event changes.

The South Carolina High School League issued a statement this afternoon that they have deferred a decision on suspending or canceling any athletic events until after the statewide meeting of district superintendents planned for this coming Monday afternoon, where the issue will be discussed. The league stated that it is in close communication with DHEC and the SCHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, which is comprised of health and medical professionals from across the state, regarding the decision. 

Throughout this process, District 7 has been preparing for eLearning. Should we need to institute that protocol due to a school closure, for individual students who need to be out related to COVD-19, or in the event of a district-wide closure, we will be ready.

Please refer to our web section on the coronavirus for more detailed guidelines that were posted on March 9 and remain in effect. We will continue to update you via email, our website, and social media as more decisions are made regarding operations and activities.

Thank you for all you are doing to help prevent the spread of illness, to keep students calm and focused, and to keep learning along with safety a top priority.

 

Russell Booker
Superintendent

Jeff Stevens
Chief Operations Officer, Superintendent-Elect

 
March 9, 2020 Update
 
On March 8, 2020, the Department of Health and Environmental Services released news of a presumptive positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Spartanburg County. District 7 has been closely monitoring and planning for the potential arrival of the coronavirus in our community, and we wish to share important information about our response as well as ask for your partnership in helping prevent the spread of this and other illnesses. To that end, a web section has been developed with the comprehensive information included in this communication.
 
While this is an evolving situation, please be assured that District 7 has been preparing. We are following guidance from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), local response planners and agencies, and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDOE). In addition to maintaining close communication with these organizations, we are working in tandem with our fellow Spartanburg County school districts for the safety of our students and community.
 
An outline of the steps we are taking now, our response if the local outbreak increases, and important steps we are asking you to take now are listed here.
 
At this time, there is no known direct impact of the coronavirus to District 7. We will update you immediately and provide recommendations and next steps if a case of coronavirus should be confirmed by DHEC among District 7 students, staff or families.
 
At present, all upcoming field trips and activities are continuing as scheduled with the exception of Daniel Morgan Technology Center internships in medical facilities and nursing homes, which have been temporarily discontinued as a precautionary measure.
 
We are following this guidance provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, which was released yesterday in conjunction with news of the possible cases of coronavirus in South Carolina including Spartanburg:
 
“In line with CDC guidance, [DHEC] does not recommend closing schools or canceling public events at this time. DHEC will monitor absentee rates in schools and businesses as well as reports of illness in the community to determine if or when closures may be recommended. DHEC also is providing updated recommendations to schools and day care facilities, colleges and universities, and organizers of large events. That updated information is publicly available at scdhec.gov/COVID-19. DHEC continues to be in communication with state agencies and community partners.”
 
All students and staff who are experiencing illness – particularly fever, cough or shortness of breath – are asked to remain at home until their symptoms have cleared. This is not the time to power through; it is the time to act calmly with caution and flexibility for the good of our community. DHEC has advised that the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Health is providing free telehealth screening to all South Carolinians. Anyone experiencing symptoms can visit MUSC.care and use the promo code COVID19 and be screened without having to leave your home. The CDC has also provided several fact sheets on COVID-19 in English, Spanish and Chinese.
 
We will remain in communication with you via email, social media, and our website as there are more developments to share. Thank you for your partnership at this important time as we work together to keep our community healthy and safe.
 
 
Jeff Stevens                                                              
Chief Operations Officer, Superintendent-Elect    
 
Russell Booker
Superintendent
 
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