President asks school board to postpone first day of school until September 8 | Covid-19 coverage
Horry County School Board President Ken Richardson took to social media Thursday night via a Facebook Live video from Lucky Dog Productions to answer some urgent questions from families about the school’s reopening.
“My goal is to make this school year a success. I can’t tell you the keys to success, but I can tell you the keys to failure. It’s to try to make everyone happy. We’re not going to make everyone happy, ”Richardson told Lucky Dog Productions host Jack Murphy.
Richardson said the board needs to notify parents 20 days in advance of a school start date, and said for the board to make the best decision, it needs more time.
“I’m going to ask council to change school start date to Tuesday after Labor Day [Sept. 8]. I know this won’t be a popular decision with some people, “he said.” The staff can make the days go smoothly. In the past three years we haven’t had a normal year, every year is something. “
This Monday evening, Richardson said, a special meeting of the Board of Education will be held at 6 p.m. to review the results of recent parent surveys regarding options for opening schools. More than 22,000 responses were listed.
“It’s a great feedback. It shows you here how important it is to people. There is nothing more precious to anyone than their child,” said Richardson.
He said he decided to go through Facebook Live to update because there was a lot of fear and a lot of unknowns.
“None of us have ever dealt with this before. You can’t prepare for this,” Richardson said.
He said he wanted to see Horry County school kids back in the classroom five days a week with a teacher in front of them, but safety is the number one issue.
He plans to spend the first month back visiting a school every day “from bell to bell”.
“I’m going to put my money where my mouth is. When I send the kids back to school, I’m going to be there with them. I can’t ask people to do that if I’m not willing to do it. – even, ”Richardson said.
Host Jack Murphy asked Richardson if he was feeling the pressure from President Donald Trump and his recent statements about how children should go back to school as usual.
“It’s not as much pressure on me as it is on the governor,” he said. “The problem right now is this thing has become political. The kids are stuck in the middle. He and I want the same thing. I want school to start over, but I want it to be done safely.”
He realizes that he won’t be able to please everyone, saying that out of 300 emails, he could have 164 in favor of back to school and 150 against.
“There has never been anything more divided than the middle,” said Richardson. “We don’t have any backstage meetings. We’re going to be speaking in public, and I want everyone to know what’s going on. That’s what I got elected for.”
Murphy asked if any students or teachers in Horry County had died, and Richardson said the county had no teacher and student deaths from COVID-19.
Richardson said that if teachers and students had to go in the space of 3.5 days to switch to virtual learning last spring, another group should be given thanks as well.
“If anyone deserves any awards, it’s the parents … what about the parents who had to come in here and teach these kids,” said Richardson.
A big question he received over and over again was why was there not an option on the current poll to have ‘back to normal school in person’.
“Because it’s a utopia. That’s where we want to be. The investigation was about getting options,” Richardson said.
He said teachers took professional development courses during the summer months regarding distance learning, saying the district could also use distance learning if the area were to experience a hurricane or d ‘other inclement weather.
Richardson also said attendance would not be counted this year, saying that while he was impressed with the dedication of these kids who never miss a day between kindergarten and senior year, the state would likely not let those rewards happen this time around.
“We are waiting for them to return information to us,” he said.
He said school nurses will be more important than ever and parents will need to be team players, taking their child’s temperature before they get them on the buses.
“Help us recognize that security will be key,” said Richardson. “I think we’ll have a successful year, even if we have to start it one way and end it another. You might not like what I said tonight, but I turned it right. with you. I’m not going to. asking you to do something that I wouldn’t do. “