Parents respond to Aiken County’s back to school options


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Governor Henry McMaster urging Wednesday for the start of school to be delayed until after Labor Day. But right now, the first day of school in Aiken County is scheduled for August 17.

“I don’t know. I think that this thing has gotten crazy. It really has,” said Brandy Mohler.

Nick D’Andrea added, “I’m just a little worried about it. I mean, I see our teachers online saying they can’t even stop head lice so how are they going to stop corona. So if they’re worried about it, I think all of us should be worried about it.”

Parents and students have two options to start the school year in Aiken County. One choice is a student can strictly take online classes through AIKEN iNNOVATE.

“Or a transition to traditional education as soon as it is safe to do based on recommendations from local, state, and national health officials. End the spread of coronavirus in our community,” explained Superintendent King Laurence.

In-person classes would start with a hybrid model. Students can attend class on either Mondays and Tuesdays or Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays would be virtual for all students.

Malazha Vussey will be a sophomore in Aiken County schools. She said, “I ain’t trying to get sick and stuff so I’m going to stay home.”

Mohler works full-time and is the mom of a rising sixth-grader.

She said, “I don’t like either plan honestly. Learning from home while she’s being taught online virtually, that’s a lot on a sixth-grader to handle. I think that’s a lot of pressure for her. And also, when I’m at work, I don’t know if she’s thoroughly getting the education she needs.”

For D’Andrea, this upcoming school year is his son’s first.

He said, “I don’t know, I’d have to talk to the wife too. I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to do so it’s up in the air. I’ll probably talk to his teacher first. She knows us and we’ll ask her what her thoughts are if it’s dangerous or not.”

“As far as the two days, I think that’s better but I don’t think that’s acceptable. I mean, we pay tax dollars children should be able to go to school and be taught by teachers. I’m not a teacher. I’m not so for me to teach her German, which is what she’s taking this year as an elective, I don’t see how that’s going to work,” added Mohler.

Superintendent Laurence added each student’s health is their top priority. Leaders will readdress their back to school plan at a special called meeting on July 21.

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