Horry County School Board holds final meeting before first day of 2022-2023 school year

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 11:11 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The agenda for the last school board meeting before the 2022-2023 school years ranged from student enrollment to current teacher vacancies, to safety and security.

“Let’s have a good school year, and with that, I’ll start out with the approval of the agenda,” said Ken Richardson, the chairman of the Horry County Board of Education.

On the agenda was updated COVID-19 protocols.

If a student or staff tests positive for COVID, they will have to isolate for at least five days.

Masks are recommended after that for another five days. Parents will no longer have to quarantine their children if they are deemed close contact.

“We will not plan to be doing COVID contact tracing,” a district official said. “We will not be monitoring it, we won’t have the dashboard up again unless things change and we have to reinstate that.”

Some safety protocols have been modified in light of recent events.

For the first time since the pandemic, HCS employees were able to participate in active shooter training with local law enforcement.

There is now a supplemental response model coming out of Texas State University called “ADD,” which stands for Avoid, Deny, Defend.

“This is a simple and intuitive approach to counter and or survive an active shooter event or other acts of campus violence,” said a district official.

Teacher salary was discussed in a prior meeting and will be taken up at the next board meeting on August 22.

The board hopes that will help fill the 72 vacant teaching positions, which are mostly at the middle and high school levels.

“We want to look at ways we can remain competitive as well as providing a cost of living as well,” said Lisa Bourcier, the Horry County Schools spokesperson. “So a proposal was brought forward to the committee and it was approved.”

All that amounts to an adjustment to the budget of about $18 million.

In addition, thanks to a new law in South Carolina, every student in grades 7 and up will receive a special identification card. On that card is the number of the suicide prevention and crisis hotline, in addition to other hotline numbers for any student or family of a student in crisis.

The first day of school for HCS students is Aug. 15.

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