For much of South Carolina, last Tuesday, Sept. 8, was the first day of school.
In some ways, it was familiar: Parents held their kids' hands as they walked to elementary school, and teachers eagerly greeted their new students. There was excitement and some nervousness.
But, for most students, the day looked very different. Instead of riding the bus or walking to school, they sat at their kitchen tables and opened up a laptop. For those who did go to school in person, they did so wearing face masks and armed with hand sanitizer and were reminded often about social distancing rules.
With just over a week of the school year down, there are many decisions ahead for parents, teachers and school administrators. In Charleston County, the vast majority of students are still learning remotely, but many want to come back to the classroom.
Teachers, meanwhile, are managing the stress of teaching students virtually, in-person or, in some cases, both at the same time. Many are worried about their health as their districts discuss ways to bring more instructors and students back into the classroom. Some are thinking about or have already resigned.
This week on the podcast, we talked to education reporter Jenna Schiferl about what she saw on the first day of school and how Charleston County schools are so far navigating the transition to in-person learning.
We also spoke with Leanna Rossi-Potter, a teacher at Wando High School and president of the Charleston County Education Association, about her and her colleagues' experiences during the first week of school and why this is unlike any year she's experienced as a teacher.
Listen now to learn more.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases within Charleston County schools, visit this online dashboard.
Understand SC is a weekly podcast from The Post and Courier that draws from the reporting resources and knowledge of the newspaper to help you better understand our state. This episode was hosted by Emily Williams and Gavin McIntyre. It was edited by Matt Rasnic.
How to listen: