Gamble at B2S

Executive Director of Middle Schools Dr. Phyllis Gamble speaks during a meeting of the Back to School Task Force.

The Aiken County Public School District has provided an update on its Back to School Task Force and states that schools are a “step ahead in preparation for the 2020-21 school year.”

In the release, district superintendent King Laurence addresses the uncertainty for next year, calling it “uncomfortable.”

He said that all students returning to a traditional school schedule right away on Aug. 17 “appears unlikely.”

“I encourage every parent, student, employee, and county resident to take personal responsibility for protecting the health of our community by following recommendations from the CDC and DHEC, doing so will allow students to fully return to their classrooms on a traditional schedule as quickly as safely possible,” Laurence says in the release.

The release cites recommendations released from the AccelerateED task force, convened by State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.

“We’ve been closely following AccelerateED’s discussions, along with public health recommendations,” Executive Director of Middle Schools Dr. Phyllis Gamble, who is leading the District’s 39-member B2S Task Force, commented in the press release from the district.

“When (AccelerateED) released their framework Monday, I think I can speak for all of our local task force members in saying that we were relieved to know that we are on the right track with our planning.”

The district asked for insight from parents and guardians in a survey sent to staff and students’ families.

Around half of employees and around a third of parents/guardians have responded, according to the release.

The B2S Task Force will present its recommendations to the school board and community at the school board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 14, at 6 p.m.

School board meetings are open to the public, but people are encouraged to view the meeting live on the district's website. Those who do plan to attend the meeting in person should arrive at the district office on Brookhaven Drive early as capacity will be limited.

Lindsey Hodges is a reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. Subscribing to the Aiken Standard will give you access to all the Aiken County news your need. Click here to sign up.