Justus-Tiawah public schools has announced that they will delay the start of school one week, until August 26.
Superintendent Ed Crum announced the decision in a video to parents Tuesday.
“It is still the district’s goal to start the 2020-21 school year with in-person instruction for those who choose,” Crum said. “I realize many teachers, parents and students are ready to be back. I am ready to be back.”
“I have felt the shared excitement among teachers and staff, and the couple of professional development days we have already completed,” Crum said. “However, there are many factors that contributed to this delayed start.”
Crum said the implementation of new academic and facility sanitation protocols were delayed because shipments of supplies had not arrived.
The manufacturer has delayed the district’s one-to-one devices for various grade levels, which were supposed to arrive in mid-August.
In addition, the district purchased hot spots to give Internet connectivity to families who need it, and those devices have not yet arrived.
“It is our goal to try and provide equitable opportunities for all students,” Crum said, and so he start of the year has been pushed back in the hope that when students are allowed back to school, they are all able to start on the same level.
There is also a delay in shipment for classroom sanitization supplies.
“We are working to implement the same, if not better, quality components larger districts are providing,” Crum said. “The difference is, we do not have the same man-power. Please know we are doing our best.”
Crum also discussed the ways in which Justus-Tiawah teachers are preparing for the added challenges the upcoming school year will bring.
“Because we know students will come to us with more of a learning loss than in previous years, teachers have been asked to develop focus standards: standards students must know to be successful in the next grade,” Crum said. “They have been asked to develop curriculum maps based upon these standards.”
“We also want to provide a relevant and rigorous curriculum, whether you are at home, virtually; in-person; or should we all have to go out to distance learning in the future,” Crum said. “My goal this summer was to make sure we had the tools in place to accomplish this. I believe we have the resources and platforms to implement this, but it takes time to understand how these function and relate to our overall plans.”
Parents can receive future announcements from the school by following the district on social media, and downloading the new smart phone application.
“Please know this decision has not been made lightly. Although I know that this inconveniences families and this always weighs heavily on me, this decision comes with the goal of protecting our students, staff and community, while also providing the best educational experience possible,” Crum said.