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School moves to distance learning for 3rd time

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The Pickens County School District announced Monday, Jan. 4 that school would not open on January 6 as planned, and would be closed the remainder of the week due to issues regarding COVID-19 spread. Officials also announced that in-person students would move to distance learning on January 11 for an undetermined period of time.

This is the third time this school year in-person students have moved to distance learning, including once in October and briefly before Christmas.

Later in the evening on January 4, the system announced that extracurricular activities could continue, with restrictions. This was a reversal of their original statement that extracurricular activities would be cancelled this week. 

According to the press release, system leaders said their decision was based on numerous factors: that health officials anticipate COVID cases will rise in the community; that local health officials are reporting limited availability to provide services to patients; that there is a 26 percent positivity rate in the district, which places Pickens in the CDC’s “red zone” as being “highest risk of transmission in schools;” and that there are currently 50 staff members in quarantine or isolation. 

Read more including comments from Superintendent Dr. Rick Townsend and Board Chair Tucker Green in this week's print or online editions.