Beaufort County School District will provide half-day, hybrid model
By Mindy Lucas
The Beaufort County School District will provide in-person instruction to some of its special education students this fall, district officials say.
The announcement was made at the school district’s Tuesday, Sept. 1 school board meeting.
While the district still plans to open with virtual only instruction this week as it announced earlier in August, it will provide face-to-face instruction for some students with Low Incidence Disabilities (LID). Those include students with intellectual or cognitive disabilities, visual or hearing impairments or those in autism-focused classrooms.
The families of 138 students with LID have requested the face-to-face instruction. The district currently serves approximately 220 LID students.
“We have always maintained that virtual learning is not as ideal as face-to-face instruction,” Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Schools Duke Bradley said.
“This is particularly evident when it comes to meeting the needs of students with extreme intellectual and physical disabilities. When we say we want success for all students, this is exactly what we mean. As a consequence, we are taking steps to ensure that all students have the tools and instruction they need to make measured progress,” Bradley said.
Federal law requires special services for students with disabilities.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 14, the district will provide half-day, face-to-face instruction for these students in a hybrid model.
DHEC’s Covid-19 metrics down
Beaufort County School Superintendent Frank Rodriguez also noted at the Sept. 1 meeting that the county’s Covid-19 metrics, which includes the infection rate have dropped to medium risk.
“If this positive trend continues, we will be able to open schools to all of our students who desire a face-to-face education sooner, rather than later,” he said. “This is what we all want because it’s best for our children. In the meantime, I’m glad we will be able to effectively serve certain special education students, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mindy Lucas is the Beaufort reporter for The Island News and is a staff writer for Lowcountry Weekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.