Updated: April 22, 2020
Today, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, along with state Superintendent Molly Spearman, announced that all South Carolina schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, due to COVID-19 and its effects on our community, state and world.
For District Five students, this means distance learning will continue through the rest of the calendar year, which is scheduled to end on Monday, June 1.
District Five leaders have been preparing for this possibility, and remain committed to ensuring each student’s success, no matter WHERE their learning occurs. Our teachers and staff have been doing a remarkable job throughout distance learning, and will continue to provide quality instruction and support for students in the days ahead.
We will release additional information in the days to come on a number of items including: grading, the distribution of additional learning materials for the rest of the year, meal service for students, WiFi and tech support, along with recognition and graduation plans for our Seniors. We know this is an especially difficult time for those students, and we assure you: we will celebrate their accomplishments, and hope to have an alternative date for graduation released to you very soon.
We realize this news presents numerous challenges for our families, faculty and staff, and the entire District Five community. We are heartbroken too, as we were all hopeful our students would have the opportunity to return to their classrooms before the school year ends. However, the safety of our students and staff is always our first priority in District Five, and we must do everything we can to keep them healthy and well.
We are in this together, and will get through this stronger than ever before.
Updated: April 5, 2020
We hope our District Five students and families have had a safe and restful Spring Break. We have some important reminders for you, as we prepare to enter a new week of distance learning in District Five.
Over the past several weeks, as we’ve adjusted to distance learning, teachers have been instructing students based on previously covered material. Beginning this week, April 6-10, teachers will begin introducing new material to students. For students in grades 3-12, who have been completing assignments online using district devices, instruction will continue online. For those students who received learning packets in the past, new material will be distributed this week.
Your schools will be contacting you in the coming days with details on how students will receive this material.
Also, for families who do not have internet access at home, the district is making new WiFi access points available to you. Beginning this week, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 12:30-2:30 p.m., several District Five school buses will be parked in locations across our district to offer free WiFi access to students. Students will not be allowed to board the bus, but simply need to park nearby to access the internet. Those locations include:
- Poplar Springs Baptist Church, 790 Highway 417, Moore SC 29369
- Lyman Lodge, 200 Lyman Lodge Rd., Lyman SC 29365
- Wellford Baptist Church, 235 Syprhit Rd, Wellford SC 29385
- Tucapau Baptist Church. 4 Chestnut St, Startex SC 29377
Free meal delivery will also continue for students this week on a revised schedule. Buses will deliver meals on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday this week. While we have decreased the number we are delivering, students will still receive enough meals for the entire week, with one day worth of meals given on Monday, and two days worth of meals being given on both Tuesday and Thursday. Our school sites at Duncan Elementary and Wellford Academy will also offer grab and go meals on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Again, we appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we navigate these difficult times together. We look forward to seeing all of our students, even if it’s from a distance, when we return to learning on Monday, April 6. tomorrow.
Updated: March 27, 2020
Parents and families, we have just finished the second week of our school closure, we want to thank you for your patience, partnership and support during this difficult time.
Next week, March 30 through April 3, is Spring Break in District Five, and we want to encourage you to rest and relax with your family, but please, still stay safe and maintain social distancing. There will be no assignments or distance learning activities given over this break.
We will continue our free meal delivery over spring break for students, but our schedule has changed. Out of concern for our students and staff safety, buses will only deliver meals on Monday, March 30, and Wednesday April 1. We will still be delivering the same amount of meals for the entire week. There will be two days worth of meals on Monday, and three days worth of meals on Wednesday. Breakfast and lunch will still be included.
One final reminder: our limited school choice deadline in District Five is this coming week, Tuesday, March 31. We are still accepting applications for school choice, even during the closure. You can find the applications online, on our website at www.spart5.net.
We will be contacting you at the end of the break to give you more information about distance learning in the weeks to come. We hope you have a restful and safe spring break!
Updated: March 22, 2020
Beginning this week, District Five will be making some changes on the number of days we’ll be delivering meals to students. This impacts both our bus delivery service, and our school sites where grab and go meals have been given.
Beginning Monday March 23, our District Five buses will deliver meals to students on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. While we are reducing the number of days we deliver, we ARE NOT reducing the amount of meals to students. Students will receive 1 day’s worth of meals on Monday, two days of meals on Tuesday (for Tuesday and Wednesday) and another two days on Thursday (for Thursday and Friday). Breakfast and lunch will still be included.
These same rules will also apply to our school sites at Duncan Elementary and Wellford Academy. Students can still visit these sites for grab and go meals, but they will only be open on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Enough meals will be given for the entire week.
Meals are available for all children, age 18 and under, no matter what school they attend.
We appreciate your patience through these changes, as we hope to make things easier on our cafeteria staff and bus drivers, as well as limiting personal contact, and maintaining social distancing through this coronavirus crisis.
We hope these meals continue to provide some comfort and relief for our families during this difficult time.
Updated: March 18, 2020
Beginning Friday, March 20, all District Five school and facility offices will be closed to the public. School and district office administrators and staff will be working remotely. If parents have questions, call your school or the district office directly. All messages will be returned during regular office hours.
Bus meal service will continue across the district.
As we've wrapped up the 2nd official day of distance learning, we want to thank our students, parents, and especially teachers and staff for adjusting to this new normal.
For students and families who DO NOT have internet access at home, we have expanded our distrit Wifi network to extend to the front parking lot of every school building. Those who need to use their district laptop, or another device, to download material or do their school work, can do so in front of any District Five school.
Our district tech support helpline is answering calls every day, and is available for students and families having problems with their device during district learning. Again, that number is (864) 949-2050. Tech support is available from 7:45-11:45 a.m. and 1:00-3:30 p.m. every day, Monday-Friday. Outside of normal hours, students can leave a message and your call will be returned.
Again, this is an evolving situation, and we appreciate your patience and support during these challenging times. We will continue to keep you updated as we work together for the good of our students in the days ahead.
Updated: March 16, 2020
Distance learning for all District Five students will officially begin Wednesday, March 18.
If you were unable to pick up student devices or learning materials at your school on Monday, please contact the school directly. Here is a list of school numbers. You are able to pick up those materials on Tuesday, March 17. After Tuesday, all schools will be closed to studetns and teachers, with only limited staff present. Any families who need learning materials after Tuesday will have to call their school to make arrangements.
A tech support helpline has also been set up to assist students who have problems with their device during this distance learning time. Tech support can be reached at 864-949-2050. The helpline will be open from 7:45-11:45, and 1:00-3:30 pm Monday through Friday. Outside of those hours, students and families can leave a message, and someone from tech support will return your call. You can also email email@example.com for tech issues.
Again, we appreciate your patience during this difficult time. We may be closing our school buildings, but we remain available to support our students, staff and families.
Updated: March 15, 2020
Student Meal Service
Spartanburg District Five is committed to making sure all students receive meals if they need them during the school closure. Any student, age 18 and under, can show up at two designated sites, and receive breakfast and lunch FOR FREE beginning March 16 through March 27.
Those sites are:
- Duncan Elementary School of the Arts (100 South Danzler Rd, Duncan)
- Wellford Academy of Science and Technology (684 Syphrit Rd, Wellford)
Breakfast will be served from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
In addition, buses will deliver meals beginning at 9:00 a.m. each day. Routes will operate three hours later than normal schedule, and any student wishing to receive meals should be at their designated neighborhood bus stop to receive a breakfast/lunch bag. If you do not typically ride the bus, and you have questions about where your bus stop is, visit here: http://www.infofinderi.com/ifi/?cid=SSD036WQWBTX4
Again, these meals are open to ANY STUDENT regardless of where they go to school in District Five. We hope this service helps during this challenging time for all our families.
Updated: March 15, 2020
READ LETTER FROM SUPERINTENDENT DR. RANDALL GARY (TEXT BELOW)
Dear District Five Parents and Families,
On Sunday afternoon, March 15, 2020, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order to close all South Carolina schools effective IMMEDIATELY, as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its spread through our state, nation and the world. As a result, Spartanburg District Five Schools will be closed to students, beginning Monday, March 16, through Spring Break, with a tentative date to resume classes on April 6.
The closure also applies to all Spartanburg District Five school-related activities, including extracurricular events, athletic games and practices, and use of all facilities.
Our district has been preparing for potential closure for days, as we have closely followed the guidance of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the SC Department of Education (SCDOE) throughout this public health crisis. District administrators, principals and staff have been diligently working to make sure distance learning can occur, while students are not in school.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR STUDENTS:
- All students will be able to pick up district devices and instructional packets at their school on Monday, March 16, from 12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
- All students grades 3-12 will use their district-issued device to continue their learning at home through the closure
- Students grades 3-12 who DO NOT typically take home a district device will be granted special permission and given one to use during this time
- Students grades K-2 who DO NOT have district devices will be given instructional packets
Our technology team is working to set up a tech support helpline, to assist students and families who have questions about distance learning throughout the closure. More information on that will be sent out very soon.
We are also committed to making sure food service for students can continue during the closure. Any District Five student age 18 and under will be able to pick up breakfast and lunch at designated sites, with no registration required. More information on specific school sites will be made available soon.
We understand that extended school closure will create hardship for many families. The school day is the centerpiece of the lives of many people, especially our children. As always, our top priority in District Five is the safety of our students, staff and community. Please know that we are making every decision with this as our focus. We will continue to update you with the latest information through phone calls, email, social media, and our district website (www.spart5.net) throughout this closure.
Randall R. Gary, ED.d.
UPDATED: March 15, 2020
Spartanburg District Five is continuing to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and assess the potential impact on our schools. District administrators, along with school officials, remain in close contact with local, state and federal authorities, including the SC Department of Environmental Health and Control (DHEC) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the district is taking all necessary precautions to protect our students, staff and community. As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020 DHEC has confirmed a total of 60 cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Carolina. Currently, only 1 of those cases is located in Spartanburg County. Below are several updates related to coronavirus (COVID-19) and schools:
Just before 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced he would declare a state of emergency to enhance the state's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on all of South Carolina. As part of this emergency declaration, the Governor ordered the school districts of Kershaw and Lancaster County (where there is community spread of the virus) to close for 14 days. At this time, District Five Schools have not been ordered to close, but administrators are actively planning, should that occur. The South Carolina Department of Education has advised school districts to begin preparing distance learning instructional plans, so students could continue learning if schools were to close. District Five leaders and staff are currently preparing these plans.
Field Trips and Travel
As of today, March 13, 2020, ALL OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL (students or staff) is CANCELED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. This includes student field trips, athletic or extra-curricular activities or tournaments, and all staff professional development. In-state field trips scheduled for the next 30 days will continue on as scheduled, but are being evaluated on a case by case basis, and will be monitored by destination. In addition, any new travel requests will not be granted at this time, until further notice.
Spartanburg District Five is currently awaiting decision from the South Carolina High School League on whether spring sports activities will be canceled.
**Update March 9, 2020 1:00 p.m.**
On Sunday, March 8, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) released news of a presumptive positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Spartanburg County. All seven Spartanburg County school districts have been closely monitoring and planning for the potential arrival of the coronavirus in our community, and we wish to share important information about our response as well as ask for your partnership in helping prevent the spread of this and other illnesses.
While this is an evolving situation, we want assure you that our districts have been preparing. We are following guidance from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), local response planners and agencies, and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDOE). In addition to maintaining close communication with these organizations, all seven districts are working in tandem and communicating on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of our students and community.
We are following this guidance provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, which was released on March 8, in conjunction with news of the possible cases of coronavirus in South Carolina including Spartanburg:
“In line with CDC guidance, [DHEC] does not recommend closing schools or canceling public events at this time. DHEC will monitor absentee rates in schools and businesses as well as reports of illness in the community to determine if or when closures may be recommended. DHEC also is providing updated recommendations to schools and day care facilities, colleges and universities, and organizers of large events. That updated information is publicly available at scdhec.gov/COVID-19. DHEC continues to be in communication with state agencies and community partners.”
District Five is closely monitoring current and future field trip destinations and school-sponsored travel and may cancel trips as necessary based on travel advisories from the CDC. At this time, according to the CDC and the S.C. Department of Environmental Control (DHEC), there are no travel restrictions within the United States. You can find current travel restrictions related to coronavirus on the CDC website. As always, parents reserve the right to limit their child's participation in field trips, due to safety concerns. However, District Five cannot guarantee refunds on prepaid travel expenses.
BEGINNING MARCH 9, 2020 (IN REGARDS TO TRAVELING TO AREAS OF OUTBREAK)
If a member of a student's household has traveled to an area of outbreak, has come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, or is diagnosed themselves with coronavirus, familes are urged to report this information to their child's school immediately. DISTRICT FIVE IS REQUESTING ANY STUDENT WHO HAS A HOUSEHOLD MEMBER WHO HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED FOR HOME ISOLATION *NOT RETURN TO SCHOOL* UNTIL THAT ISOLATION PERIOD HAS ENDED IN THEIR HOUSEHOLD.
All students and staff who are experiencing illness, particularly fever, cough, or shortness of breath, are asked to remain at home until their symptoms have cleared. We are asking this for the safety and well being of ALL in our district family and community. DHEC is advising that MUSC Health is providing free telehealth screenings to all South Carolinians. Anyone experiencing symptoms can visit MUSC.care and use the promo code COVID19 and be screened without having to leave your home. Check out these additional fact sheets from the CDC on COVID-19 in English, Spanish and Chinese.
Read more in District Five's complete letter to parents.
What Is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. It was first discovered in December in the city of Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization has named it "Coronavirus Disease 2019" (COVID-19) because it is a new coronavirus, not similar to others previously found in humans.
Symptoms for patients with COVID-19 range from a mild to severe repiratory illness marked by fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read more about COVID-19 symptoms.
The best way to keep people healthy is by stopping the spread of the virus through everyday practices like handwashing and staying home when sick. Additional preventative measures can be found here.
Who is at risk?
Of the current known cases, children appear to be the least at risk. Those most at risk are the elderly, those with suppressed immune systems, and adults with certain pre-existing conditions. More information on COVID-19, such as prevention, treatment, and how it is spread, is available on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
Are There Active Cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina?
Yes, there are currently active cases throughout South Carolina, and Spartanburg County. You can view the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) page for more information. The CDC has a helpful tracking resource which lists all known COVID-19 cases in the United States. It is important to note that of the current known cases, children appear to be the least at risk of contracting COVID-19. The elderly, those with suppressed immune systems, and adults with pre-existing conditions appear to be most at risk. Check out this risk assessment from the CDC.
What is District Five Doing Now In Response To The Spread of Coronavirus?
As of Friday, March 13, 2020, ALL OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL (STUDENTS AND STAFF) IS CANCELED, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. This includes field trips, athletic and extracurricular activities, and staff professional development. In state travel for the next 30 days will go on as scheduled, but will be monitored on a case by case basis, and evaluated by destination.
District Five is asking if any member of a student's household has traveled to an area of outbreak, has come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, or is diagnosed themselves with coronavirus, families are urged to report this information to their child's school IMMEDIATELY. Additionally, District Five is requesting that any student who has a household member who has been recommended for home isolation NOT RETURN TO SCHOOL until the isolation period has ended in their household.
District Five is also following these measures:
- Reviewing the district's emergency response plan
- Enhancing existing cleaning/disinfecting of schools, classrooms, and buses and increasing the frequency of that cleaning
- Reminding all students and staff to limit physical contact, follow respiratory etiquette, and to regularly and thoroughly wash hands
- Communicating that all students and staff that are sick with respiratory illness, and showing any signs of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should STAY HOME and not come to school or work
- Monitoring absenteeism and notifying health officials about large increases in absences
- Monitoring the enrollment of new students and staff and responding accordingly
What can families do now to help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
The partnership with our famlies is a CRITICAL component of our preparation and response to the potential spreading of coronavirus. Famlies are advised to remain informed and closely follow guidance from the CDC.
The most important role families can play at home is to ensure all members of their household follow these everyday precautions. Some of these include:
- Stop the spread of germs by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly
- Avoid close contact wtih people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- STAY AT HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw that tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces
If a member of a students' household has traveled to an area of outbreak, has come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, or is diagnosed themselves with coronavirus, families are urged to report this information to their child's school immediately.
All students and staff who are experiencing illness---particularly fever, cough or shortness of breath--- are asked to remain at home until their symptoms have cleared.
How will Spartanburg County school districts respond in the event of a local outbreak?
We will follow all available guidance from DHEC, the CDC, and the SCDOE in addtiion to determining specific responses that may be appropriate and in the best interest of our students and staff. Such responses could include:
- Increased communication with families
- Coordinated student handwashing and enhanced screening of people with respiratory symptoms or potential exposure within our schools
- Further increasing the frequency and methods of cleaning hard surfaces such as doorknobs and desks
- Postponement or cancellation of extra-curricular events and after-school activities
- Closure of one or more schools with implementation of remote learning procedures and/or other methods of academic instruction at home
Should a case of coronavirus be confirmed by DHEC among our district's students, staff or families, the district will immediately notify all employees and parents and provide recommendations and next steps. If the closure of one or more schools should become necessary, our district is prepared to implement approaches that allow learning to continue in an academically appropriate manner. Maintaining our students' educational experience will be a priority, particularly as this positive focus would provide important stress relieving benefits during a time when students may feel anxious.
Parents can continue to check this page for updated information. Below are some additional resources:
Handwashing Tutorial (English)
Handwashing Tutorial (Spanish)
Handwashing Tutorial (Russian)