GPSD’s Destination 8/5 plans underway for new school year

By JASMINE STEVERSON JSTEVERSON@DDTONLINE.COM,

The Greenville Public School District is deep into the development of a plan for reopening classroom instruction to students for the upcoming academic year.

The district’s plan, titled “Destination 8/5” as Aug. 5 is its target start date, requires significant feedback from various stakeholders, especially parents.

GPSD parents were required to complete and submit a survey by June 19, which consisted of a handful of questions pertaining to their thoughts on virtual and face-to-face instruction. 

At their regular Tuesday meeting, the GPSD board of trustees heard from Superintendent Dr. Debra Dace about the results of the survey.

One of the questions on the survey asked if parents thought schools should reopen using the traditional (face-to-face) teaching and learning and provide safety measures as laid out by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the government. 

Of the parents who participated in the survey, 63.65% responded with “no” and 37.58% responded “yes.”

Another question on the survey asked whether parents would be in favor of online instruction coupled with face-to-face instruction, which 63.13% of parents responded “yes” and 34.73% responded “no.”

An additional question on the survey asked whether the student would have the necessary device and Internet access, to which 58.14% of parents responded “yes,” 20.65% said “no” and the remaining participants responded with “N/A.”

Board of trustees president Doris Thompson asked if those students who would not have the necessary technological access could be accommodated should the district decide to go that route, and Dace said they could be.

Dace noted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act would provide “a lot” in terms of assisting the district in funds for technology and educational purposes.

“We plan to purchase the mini laptops for the students and Ms. Pam Dillard, who is on the technology committee for the state, has had conversations with MDE,” Dace said.

School sites have completed Phase I of the contingency plan; the district plan will be completed this week and presented to the board on Monday, according to Dace.