It was only a year ago when students were bemoaning the end of summer vacation while parents rejoiced that their children were soon going back to school. However, as everyone knows, the 2019-2020 school year saw the unexpected challenge of how to educate children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Horry County schools were closed in April and parents were suddenly thrust into the role of teacher in addition to caregiver and breadwinner.
And it wasn’t just the impact of school closings that affected parents; some also found themselves without jobs or having to work from home while making sure their children kept up on their studies. Students from low income families are especially at risk of falling behind when they are not in a classroom setting.
The Horry County Schools (HCS) Re-Opening Plan for the 2020-2021 school year, which starts September 7, includes a page describing how learning will take place based on data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). Classroom attendance will depend on whether the SCDHEC determines if COVID-19 in Horry County is low, medium or high spread. A determination of low spread means face-to-face classroom instruction can continue.
What does this mean for working parents? It means that at any given time, if SCDHEC determines the spread has increased to medium or high, parents need to be prepared to do distance learning from 3 to 5 days per week. There is an option for full time online learning through HCS Virtual, where courses may be limited, with the requirement that “families are responsible for providing a supportive environment for online learning.”
Students from low-income families, especially those with single parents, will still be hit the hardest with this re-opening plan as they may not be able to rearrange their work schedules without adequate notice, if at all.
School Supplies are Needed
Access to internet and broadband for online learning modules helps students keep up with their studies, but students also need the usual school supplies to complete lessons whether at home or in a classroom. Low-income families are especially challenged this year when buying these supplies for their children.
To help address this need, the Horry County Democratic Party is now collecting new school supplies for distribution to families in need throughout Horry County. These supplies include:
- Child and teen sized face masks and individual hand sanitizer for classroom settings
- Wide ruled paper
- Composition notebooks
- Spiral Notebooks – one to three subject, wide ruled
- 3 Ring Binders and subject separators
- Folders – 2 pocket and prong style
- Pens – blue or black ink
- #2 Pencils and erasers
- Glue Sticks, crayons, colored pencils and markers
- 12-inch Rulers
- Construction Paper – various colors
Items can be dropped off at the HCDP office at 311c Beaty St, Conway. Please call 843-488-4237 before coming by to make sure there is someone there to receive the items.
School supplies may seem like a little thing, but they can make a big difference in the lives of children in need to continue their education during uncertain times.
In the words of Malcom X, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”