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Georgetown County schools continue in hybrid instruction as county declared high-spread area

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Georgetown County School Board (copy) (copy) (copy)

Georgetown County School District returned to school remotely Sept. 8 and weeks later began hybrid instruction in its brick-and-mortar schools. Richard Caines/South Strand News

GEORGETOWN — Students enrolled in Georgetown County School District's brick-and-mortar instruction will continue going to school in person though the county is now considered high spread for COVID-19, according to the latest South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control disease activity report.

The district announced Friday that schools will continue with hybrid instruction next week, going against its original plan to shift into totally remote instruction if the county is deemed high spread.

"GCSD reviewed the report with the SC Department of Education prior to announcing the continuation of HYBRID instruction," stated a release from the district. "As stated previously, a return to a HIGH rating does not mean an immediate or mandatory return to REMOTE instruction. GCSD received permission from SCDE last week to move to weekly announcements so the decision for Week 8 (Oct. 26-30) will be made on Friday, Oct. 16th."

The district began the academic year Sept. 8 with two instruction options for students: one that is totally virtual and a second called Remote to Prime, also known as the hybrid model. The district's hybrid, brick-and-mortar model began in the remote, or totally virtual phase, and shifted to hybrid learning during the third week of school.

GCSD, like Horry County Schools, bases the type of instruction on DHEC's COVID-19 disease activity report. If the county is considered high spread, the school district originally planned to operate totally remote; medium spread means students go to school in-person two days per week; and low spread means students can return to school five days per week. As of Thursday, Georgetown County is considered a high-spread county.

The latest DHEC update shows both Andrews Elementary and Waccamaw High have had less than five students test positive for COVID-19. 

Georgetown County has seen more than 1,700 positive coronavirus cases and 34 deaths due to the virus since the start of the pandemic, according to DHEC.

Reach Hannah Strong at 843-277-4687. Follow her on Twitter @HannahLStrong.

Hannah Strong covers education in Horry and Georgetown counties. She is a native of Pawleys Island and graduate of Winthrop University. In her free time, she likes to read, surf and cook.

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