ANDERSON COUNTY (WATE) — Anderson County will welcome their students back starting on August 10, but that will not be the same starting date for every school and grade. Ryan Sutton, Anderson County Schools communications/public relations coordinator says it will be a staggered start for various grade levels.

For instance, the staggered return for students in high school will start with Freshmen only on Aug. 10. Sophomores will return on Aug. 11, while Juniors, and Seniors on Aug. 12 — with all students at school by Aug. 13.  

Elementary and middle school will follow the staggered return.

The staggered start is just one of the many changes Anderson County Schools is implementing this upcoming school year. While they are planning to hold face-to-face learning this school year, there is a virtual option for parents to choose.

“We want to make sure we put the child first,” says Sutton and with that in mind students doing the distance learning will have a live teacher. Office hours will be available through zoom, email or by phone. Students will be assigned individual Chromebook with access to Skyward, Google Classroom and Zoom. Suttons says they will plan to have a live teacher for the virtual option.

The curriculum for the virtual learning will be exactly the same for in-person learning.

“They’ll be doing the same things at home so that when they choose to come back to school, between the nine-week periods, they’ll be able to,” says Sutton, “And they’ll be right there where their peers are at.”

Social distancing efforts will be in place for classrooms, hallways and cafeterias. Other safety precautions in place include temperature checks for staff and students before entering the building, educating students on proper hand-washing and sanitary measures, and extra sanitary measures for classrooms and bathrooms.

Masks will not be required inside of the school, but are encouraged when social distancing cannot be achieved like one-on-one instruction. Masks will also be provided to staff and students who want them. However, when it comes to buses–students will be required to wear one to and from school.

Buses will undergo a deep clean before and after morning and afternoon runs, and hand sanitizer will be provided on every bus.

Safety precautions and virtual plans differ among elementary, middle and high school but the one constant remains: a safe environment for students to learn.

Parents have until July 21st to opt for the virtual learning option.