SDOC High Schools Temporarily Move to Virtual Instruction
Wednesday, January 12th - Friday, January 14th
Like many other districts and the community as a whole, the School District of Oconee County is experiencing a large number of COVID-19 cases among students and staff. As a result, the district is facing critical staffing shortages. To maintain our goal of keeping as many students in school as possible and to address the staffing shortage, we have made the difficult decision to move all high school students to virtual learning for Wednesday, January 12th through Friday, January 14th. High school students will return to school on Tuesday, January 18th. As a reminder, Monday, January 17th is a holiday for all students and staff in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Mr. Al LeRoy, Directory of Human Resources, shared, “Today, the district was only able to fill 51% of staff absences with a substitute. This left us with 58 vacancies that other school employees are having to cover.”
The decision to move high schools to virtual learning was made for several reasons. First, high school students, for the most part, do not need the same level of supervision at home as younger students. Additionally, high school students tend to be the best equipped to learn virtually. District leadership felt that this would be the least disruptive to families. In addition, high schools have more support staff that can be used to help address staffing shortages at other schools.
Dr. Thorsland said, “We are fully aware that this is not ideal. However, we feel like this gives us the best chance to keep as many students face-to-face as possible. We are also aware that this may not be the last of the measures we have to take. Please bear with us as we navigate and do our best for our students, families and staff during this surge in cases.”
Please note the following:
Athletics will continue to operate as normal.
Students will follow their “normal” class schedule; most classes will be synchronous - meaning they will happen at the time a student would attend the class in a normal school day.
Students without home internet access will be given the opportunity to complete assignments upon return to school. If the assignments are not completed within 5 days of the return to school, students will be marked absent for that day(s). Due to the short notice, the district will be unable to provide meals for high school students during virtual learning.
For High School Families:
Please check Chromebooks this evening. Any physical problems, such as not powering on or not connecting to the internet, should be reported to your student's teacher and/or the Media Specialist to ensure they have a functioning Chromebook for virtual instruction. Please be sure you have a charger and that the Chromebook charges when plugged in.
If there are any technical issues accessing online curriculum during virtual instruction, your student should contact their teacher first.
SDOC does not have any hotspots available for students.
SDOC Updates Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and SC DHEC have issued new guidance that reduces COVID-19 isolation and quarantine length. The School District of Oconee County has instituted these changes in our COVID-19 Guidelines available on our website.
For students who test positive for COVID-19, the isolation period has been reduced from 10 days to 5 days, if there are no symptoms or symptoms have improved. Per DHEC requirements, students should wear a mask for days 6 through 10 when they return to school. In addition, students must provide a parent note stating that symptoms have improved and the student has been fever-free for at least 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medication). Students who are still experiencing symptoms after isolating for the 5 days should remain at home until symptoms resolve and notify the school nurse.
For students who are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the minimum quarantine period has been reduced to 5 days. If a student chooses to provide one of the following items, they may exempt the quarantine period:
Proof of a positive COVID-19 result within 90-days of being exposed
Proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination series (as recommended by DHEC)
Proof of positive antibodies collected within the prior 14 days of being exposed
Quarantine can end after Day 5 if a viral test is negative AND if no symptoms were present during the quarantine period. The viral test (PCR or antigen test) must be collected no sooner than Day 4. At-home tests will not be accepted. Per DHEC and the SC Department of Education, a mask should be worn by exposed students upon their return to school through Day 10 since exposure. DHEC recommends exposed students get tested on Day 5 as well.
Questions regarding isolation/quarantine for a student should be directed to the school nurse.
SDOC Announces 2022 4K Screening Dates
Please call 864-718-5133 as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
Families with children who will be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2022 are encouraged to schedule a 4K screening to determine if their child is eligible to attend an SDOC 4K program. Screening will be held on the following dates:
Thursday, March 10, 2022
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Thursday, April 7, 2022
All screenings held at Bountyland Education Center
100 Vocational Drive Seneca, SC 29672
Families should bring the following items to the screening appointment:
● Legal LONG form birth certificate
● Child’s immunization record
● Proof of income for both parents or child’s medicaid card
● Proof of residency (must be a utility bill or rental agreement)
● Legal documentation as it pertains to the child (such as custody, court, safety plans, etc)
To: SDOC Parents, Guardians, Students and General Public
From: Steve Hanvey, Associate Superintendent for Administration
RE: Inclement Weather eLearning Days
This information is being sent as a reminder of the district’s inclement weather procedures. When there is potential for hazardous conditions, administrators will visually check road conditions in each attendance area. Officials may also consult with Oconee County Emergency Management and law enforcement to assess conditions.
Any decision to move to eLearning will be made by 6:00AM.
Announcement of a decision to move to eLearning will be made through the following outlets:
- SDOC/school websites & SDOC App (immediate posting with up to date information)
- School Messenger Call System (delivered to parents & staff via phone, email or text)
- Radio (WGOG–101.7FM, The Lake 94.1 or 1150AM, WCCP-105.5FM, WJMZ 107.3)
- Local TV (WYFF-4, WSPA-7, WHNS-21)
- Twitter @OconeeSC_school
- Facebook – School District of Oconee County
As a county school district with several district wide programs (Adult Education, Hamilton Career & Technology Center, etc.), it is best for the operation of the district to move to eLearning for all locations even if inclement weather is only affecting parts of the county. The two possible announcements for inclement weather are listed below.
|2 Hour Delay||Students will report to school 2 hours later than normal.|
|eLearning||Students will not come to school buildings. Assignments will be posted by 10:00am. Teachers will be available for office hours from 10:00 to 11:00am and 2:30 to 3:30pm. Students will have 5 days upon returning to school to turn in assignments. If assignments are not completed and turned in within those 5 days, the student will be considered absent for the eLearning day.|
|Afternoon & Evening Activities Canceled||Practices, games, concerts or any other evening activities are cancelled.|
For more information on eLearning, please visit
SDOC updates Mask Requirement for Buses
As the district announced last week, the SC State Department of Education re-instituted the requirement of face masks for students and drivers** on buses. School districts were given until August 30th to be in compliance. The SCDE released a revised memo on Friday, August 26th, to clarify that districts shall implement disciplinary measures for not wearing the mask. The memo said:
“...All districts must be in compliance with this requirement no later than Monday, August 30, 2021. School districts shall implement disciplinary measures designed to enforce this requirement, including, but not limited to suspending a student from riding a bus. However, no student should be placed in an unsafe situation as a result of attempting to board a bus without a face covering.”
The revised memo is linked on the SDOC COVID-19 page. The consequences for a student who refuse to wear a mask on the bus will include:
1st time: Students will receive a warning
2nd time: A phone call will be made to the parents, explaining the consequences
3rd time: Students will be suspended from the bus for one day.
Each additional refusal will result in an increase in the number of days the student is suspended from the bus. It is possible with repeated refusal to wear a mask may result in suspension from the bus for the remainder of the school year.
SDOC will begin implementation of consequences on Tuesday, September 7th.
**A driver is not required to wear a mask if they are the only person on the bus.
FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit to Families
Assistance of up to $50 a month to those who qualify
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households (up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands).
Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 a
t or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
There are three ways for eligible households to apply:
Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742