Aiken County hybrid students back to school five days a week

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Aiken County,SC (WJBF)- Starting Monday morning, students will attend school 5 days a week in-person learning in Aiken County.

Aiken County superintendent King Laurence made the decision last week for all hybrid students to return to five day a week classes.

There were mixed reactions from parents. Many were thrilled at the news saying it is past time.
Others disagreed, saying they are concerned for the wellbeing of faculty and staff, especially considering that most teachers aren’t currently able to get a covid-19 vaccine.

“I feel it is a bit irresponsible and it seems like an irresponsible pivot. So you’re giving teachers one week to prepare, first off. And the majority of the teachers who are in our school system aren’t eligible for vaccinations yet. That would be my main concern,” parent Danielle Robinson told WJBF after the news broke.

Laurence says students need the face to face interaction with their teachers–but he hopes the vaccine will be available to teachers in South Carolina soon.

“But what I’m pressing for and encouraging our leaders to do is rather than moving straight from that 1a group into the 1b group that included teachers and a lot of other categories, just to take a week or a two week pause from the transition into 1b and say ‘ok this is the time that we’re going to administer vaccines to teachers,'” explained Laurence.

Another question many parents had was why, with less than 75 days left of school, are they going back full time now?

Laurence says the main reason he made the decision to send hybrid students back five days is because students are behind and they need the time to catch up.

“I just believe our students need direct instruction from their teachers. They lost that 75 days you’re talking about–they lost that last year. And throughout this year they’ve mostly been in a hybrid model. And while they’ve had that remote instruction–and I believe high quality remote instruction–they haven’t had that everyday contact and remote instruction from their teacher,” said Laurence.

Just a reminder–only hybrid students will be heading back to face to face instruction Monday. This does not affect Aiken Innovate students, who will remain virtual

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