BCSD Face Coverings Protocol
Berkeley County School District (the “District”) is mindful of the evolving need for safety measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of reopening schools, the District is implementing various safety measures including the use of face coverings. The District encourages the use of face coverings at all times practical when social distancing cannot be achieved and provides the following protocol related to the same.
Face coverings are encouraged to be worn by all persons when entering and exiting school buildings, while in the hallways and common areas, and while in close proximity to others. The District recognizes that wearing face coverings will not be practical at all times. Thus, students and staff may remove or lower their face coverings in the classroom and while social distancing can be achieved. Further, while the District is strongly encouraging face coverings, the following shall be exempt from this protocol:
- Any person who is unable to safely wear a face covering due to age, an underlying health condition, or is unable to remove the face covering without the assistance of others;
- While a person is in their private individual office; and
- While actively eating or drinking.
Conspicuous signage shall be posted at all entrances informing students, staff, and visitors of the expectations set forth in this protocol.
State face coverings update and opt out form(s)
On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, Berkeley County School District (BCSD) received confirmation that South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, effective immediately, rescinded the state face covering policy with the exception of the school bus requirement that is now required by the federal government. Additionally, per the Governor’s Order, the South Carolina Department of Education provided school districts with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control consent form to opt out of the face mask requirement imposed on students by a school or district.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) opt out form can be found here:
In order to be valid, the form must be completed without change by the parent or guardian (or student, if age 18 or older).
SC DHEC's recommendations regarding COVID-19 precautions, including wearing face masks, have not changed. Wearing face masks and taking other precautions are important disease prevention methods that protect not only the person wearing the mask but also those around them from COVID-19. For your convenience, the South Carolina Department of Education School Bus Face Covering Guidelines can be found here: https://www.bcsdschools.net/Page/34736
If you do not want your child to wear a face covering at school, please review and complete the SC DHEC opt out form via the link provided above and return a signed copy to your child’s school. If you do not have access to the internet or a printer, please inform your child’s school and a form will be provided to you.
South Carolina Department of Education School Bus Face Covering Guidelines
As BCSD school buses are owned, funded and maintained by the South Carolina Department of Education, students and staff utilizing these buses for transport to and from school will be expected to adhere to the following South Carolina Department of Education Face Covering Guidelines for School Buses.
South Carolina Department of Education School Bus Face Covering GuidelinesStudents and staff who ride the state’s pupil transportation system to and from school are required to wear face coverings while boarding, riding, and exiting school buses. Staff members, including bus drivers, are required to wear face coverings while boarding, riding, driving, and exiting school buses. Bus drivers and support staff should ask any student who boards a bus without a covering to put one on and offer them a disposable or cloth face covering provided by the SCDE.Students who should NOT be required to wear face coverings:
Staff members, including bus drivers, who have trouble breathing and/or those with special healthcare needs as noted by a medical doctor should NOT be required to wear face coverings.
- Those younger than two years old;
- Those who have trouble breathing;
- Those unable to remove the covering without assistance; and/or
- Those with special healthcare or educational needs as determined by an Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 Accommodations Plan, or an individual student healthcare plan, or by a medical doctor