Students struggling during pandemic can qualify for special assistance

2 mins read

From staff reports

Beaufort County School District K-12 students whose academic work has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for free special assistance.

“The coronavirus pandemic has forced instructional changes that have been challenging for many students and their families,” Superintendent Frank Rodriguez said in a release. “This new initiative is designed to identify and support those students creatively and effectively.”

Schools have already begun identifying possible student participants for ENGAGE South Carolina, a partnership that includes the district, the S.C. Department of Education, and the Grad Alliance.

Lakinsha Swinton, the district’s Director of Student Services, said students who qualify for the program and choose to participate will get an academic coach to work with them to answer questions, connect them with resources, and develop a plan to get them on track for a strong finish to the 2020-21 school year. Trained teachers and social workers will identify students’ needs and support them, Swinton said.

To qualify, a student must be:

At risk of failing one or more classes.

Chronically absent.

Designated as homeless under the federal McKinney-Vento criteria.

Living in foster care.

Families can also request the free assistance, Swinton said.

Parents of students identified as possible participants will be contacted by the Grad Alliance to gauge their interest and assess their children’s eligibility. The Grad Alliance is a nationwide program that works directly with local districts to identify, recruit and re-engage students who cannot or will not attend school, regardless of the reason.

To learn more about ENGAGE South Carolina, parents should contact their children’s school, visit the website, e-mail, or call 803-897-8517

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