Rock Hill Schools releases final reopening plan, parents still have questions

Rock Hill parents question district's back to school plan

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Rock Hill Schools released its reopening plan late Thursday night. The plan takes a deeper dive into what the safety guidelines parents were looking for.

As WBTV has reported before, students are going to go to school two days and have two days off. A fifth day will be used for extra learning. The alternating schedules will help schools with the safety guidelines the district also posted.

York County has about 327 new cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks. According to DHEC, the county is a high disease activity area and it is that designation Rock Hill Schools used to create their school reopening plan.

The district will social distance the classrooms by only putting a certain number of desks in each room.

Elementary classes will have nine desks, middle school classes will have 12 desk and high school will have 16 desks.

Masks will be required for students and staff. For any families that cannot provide one themselves, the school will have some for them.

Many parents asked what happens when a child is sick in the classroom. That is included in the plan with guidelines from DHEC.

If a student is sick in the classroom, they will be removed. The rest of the students will be moved somewhere else to keep the spread down.

That entire room will be disinfected. The janitors will clean highly touched spaces several times a day to keep the spread down.

Students will be asked to quarantine if they have come into close contact with another student or staff member that has tested positive.

The packet is 52 pages long, filled with information parents and teachers need to know, but one parent says she still has questions after reading through the plan.

”To still not get any answers it’s like what am I supposed to do? This is my kids’ future,” says Amanda Snipes, a Rock Hill Schools mom to three kids.

Snipes says the Rock Hill Schools plan left her with more questions than answers.

”I don’t want to say I’m not worried about the COVID but it’s not the main thing going through my mind on why I wouldn’t send my kids,” she says.

The questions running through Snipes mind: how long will students wear masks all day, how will those masks be enforced, and how will they clean while students are in school?

The deadline for the virtual academy, which she is considering, has been extended to Wednesday, July 29, so the answers need to come quickly.

”I think the questions need to be answered before or at least extend the time parents have to sign up their children,” she says.

WBTV talked to the Rock Hill Schools spokesperson who answered some of those questions.

The spokesperson said there is going to be a learning curve with everything, so they will evaluate on a day-to-day basis.

He said parents need to work together with staff to make sure everyone is safe.

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