Aiken County schools stay on hybrid schedule

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Aiken County, SC (WJBF)- The Aiken county school board is trying to get back to normal. They’re looking at when to send students back to school five days a week.

The Aiken County School Board decided to keep the current hybrid schedule until January 15.

Several parents and one middle school student spoke at the meeting asking the board to send the kids back to school full time. Many parents are angry with the decision, and some are content that the board knows what they are doing.

In addition to the school board’s vote to keep the current hybrid model until the next semester, they also decided to go forward with Winter sports the same way they did in the Fall.

Superintendent King Lawrence, proposed a tiered system for next semester that will allow the district to put individual schools on a hybrid schedule as needed based on the percentage of COVID cases in a particular school. This would allow 5 days a week school and keeps the entire district from going to hybrid if it isn’t necessary.

“We want to look at each school individually rather than making decisions across the school district. Because we’ve had schools that have gone from five days face to face to the hybrid model who have not had a single case,” explained Lawrence.

Melanie Ball is a 6th grader at North Augusta Middle School. She spoke at Tuesday night’s school board meeting about the hybrid model. She said she has seen a drop in her test scores this year and she doesn’t like it.

“I just wanted to tell them what kids feel like during this because I don’t think they’re thinking what kinds feel like. They’re just thinking for themselves. And just thinking about the virus and not thinking about how we’re learning and how it is for kids.”

Ball thinks the proposed tiered system is a good idea.

“Well as long as they’re not closing down the whole county, that’s better than just closing it down. But at least that we’re going five days a week, that just nice, but it’s not as bad as the hybrid,” said Ball.

But some parents think the school board is doing the best it can in a tough situation.

Lisa Christie is one of those Aiken County parents.

“It seems like the board is doing a great job evaluating the current situation for the schools. I think that if they trust that’s the best path for us right now then I think it’s a good idea to keep it that way. I would love to see my child in school as much as possible,” she said.

The board will meet again January 12 to discuss how to move forward in the next semester.

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