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BCSD to offer students empowered learning pathways

Published Wednesday, June 24, 2020

During Tuesday evening's regular meeting of the Berkeley County Board of Education, Berkeley County School District leaders presented BCSD's initial plans for student empowered learning pathways. The Board was provided information concerning three learning pathways available to students during the 2020-2021 school year. Students will have the option to participate in traditional, blended distance learning or virtual instruction in the coming year. 

"At BCSD, we are committed to ensuring that our students receive high quality instruction on a schedule that parents can plan for and depend on," said BCSD Chief Innovations and Academics Officer Dr. Kelly Wulf. "It is important to provide our students and parents the opportunity to select the learning model that best meets the needs of their family and current situation. While we are unsure what conditions may exist in August or how our return will be impacted by restrictions and guidelines outside of our control, we are planning and preparing to continue supporting robust student learning."

Traditional learning- available to students in all grade levels

Students participating in the traditional learning model will receive face-to-face instruction and take part in classroom-based learning activities. Learning will be delivered according to a fixed, traditional schedule in a classroom setting which provides students with hands-on problem solving opportunities, as well as continued social and emotional growth experiences.

Transition from traditional learning to an online option will be considered based on individual circumstances and needs. 

Blended distance learning- available to students in all grade levels (online option)

Not to be confused with modified e-Learning, this option will incorporate online learning platforms with live stream learning experiences and live stream direct instruction from BCSD educators. With support from Odysseyware and Edgenuity software, students will participate in live virtual meets according to a fixed, traditional schedule in an online classroom setting. Students will interact daily through live stream with their peers and teachers and instruction will be delivered in real time via live stream so connectivity is required for registering students. This option allows students to receive instruction and participate in learning activities remotely while following a traditional, fixed schedule. 

Consideration for transition from blended distance learning to traditional learning will be contingent on enrollment

Virtual learning- available to eligible students in grades 7-12 (online option)

This learning option is only available to eligible students in grades 7-12 through VirtualSC and Berkeley County Virtual Learning Programs. Students registering will participate in pre-made courses for high school credit with certified instructional support. This learning option is self-directed and connectivity is required. Students will follow a schedule as provided by their course instructors.

"We continue to navigate education in uncharted territory," said BCSD Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram. "We have presented our initial learning options understanding that our team will continue reviewing the recommendations from the AccelerateED task force and our state leadership. Regardless of how learning may ultimately be delivered, we will ensure that our students receive high quality instruction to prepare them for life after high school. Our parent survey will remain open until next Tuesday and we will meet with the BCSD task force, made up of students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members, in July. Please continue to provide your feedback, and we will continue to monitor and adjust our plans to best support our students and staff." 

Students registering for the traditional learning model, understanding that BCSD cannot ensure social distancing in a public school or bus setting, will begin their school year on campus with the expectation that BCSD will operate in accordance with reasonable health and safety guidelines. In the event that local authorities close schools or initiate a stay-at-home order, these students will transition to blended distance/virtual learning. 

Families choosing to register for distance blended learning or virtual learning will be required to participate in a parent and student orientation and will have access to support and services. 

Registration will open in July for families to share their intent to participate in traditional learning or one of the virtual learning opportunities.