Public schools remain closed through Friday

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Even with Gov. Henry McMaster’s mandatory evacuation order rescinded for Beaufort County, all Beaufort County School District schools will remain closed for the rest of the week.

At least 80 percent of classroom teachers and school staff would need to be available for schools to reopen, the district said Tuesday, and a survey of school principals indicated that goal could not be achieved because many teachers and staff left Beaufort County on Monday as soon as the evacuation order was announced.

District officials said 90-95 percent of school bus drivers would need to be available for schools to reopen, and a survey of drivers indicated that goal could not be achieved, either.

“Because the projected track of Hurricane Florence remains uncertain, many school staff and school bus drivers are staying away from the coast,” the district said in a release to news media. “In addition, windy conditions and flooding are possible later this week that could make school bus operations hazardous.

“Because the safety of our 22,000 students and staff is the district’s No. 1 priority, all district schools will remain closed this week.  All athletic and extracurricular events will remain cancelled and will be rescheduled.” 

A decision on reopening schools will be made this weekend and relayed to parents, employees and news media. 

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