The following letter from Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade about the start of the 2021-2022 school year was emailed to district stakeholders in early August. The first day of classes for students is Monday, August 16.
August 3, 2021
To: Stakeholders of Lexington County School District Two
Re: Start of the 2021-22 School Year
As communicated since late Spring, parents and guardians enrolling their children into Lexington County School District Two for the 2021-22 school year can anticipate having five (5) days face-to-face instruction on the first day of school. The Virtual Academy will not be offered in the 2021-22 school year. Students who are eligible for homebound instruction can continue to follow the usual procedures associated with that option.
In June, the Board of Trustees amended the policy about the student dress code to allow students to wear a mask if they feel the need to. Due to actions taken by the state, a school district does not have the authorization to adopt and enforce a universal mask wearing policy. However, any student, employee, and/or visitor is allowed to wear a mask during the school day and on school grounds without fear of repercussions.
All other temporary COVID-19 related policies approved last year expired on June 30, 2021. At this point, we have not received any changes in guidance from state and/or federal entities that affect the current reopening of schools for Lexington Two.
The district’s “5% Rule” for moving a school to remote learning is still in effect, which requires that a school building temporarily move to remote learning when 5% of its student population is a positive case. A school can be moved prior to reaching the 5% threshold, if, for example, the school sees a significant increase in positive cases within a short time. Another component in determining whether to close a school is staffing.
For COVID-19 reporting, the district will not be changing its procedures from last year due to how effective they were. The COVID-19 reporting protocols for students can be found here and for employees it can be found here.
School nurses will still be able to perform a COVID-19 test on site for students exhibiting symptoms. This test can only be performed with parent/guardian permission.
The district sent out a survey to its stakeholders over the summer about reopening plans and how to best use its recent allocations of federal funds to address learning loss. The results of this survey have been previously communicated and they can be found here. A full copy of the Return to In-Person Instruction & Continuity of Services Plan can be found here.
The district will also be continuing its cleaning and sanitation protocols with nightly cleaning and misting schools with disinfectant throughout the week.
Individual schools have already been communicating with families about Open Houses, schedule pick-up, orientation, and so on. If you have not already heard of such opportunities, please reach out to your child’s school.
As previously communicated, building and district administration collaborated with transportation to draft start and end times for the 2021-22 school year. To ensure there is a proper length to the school day, fewer conflicts with available bus routes, and proper security and supervision for students arriving before school, the following start and end times have been put into place for the 2021-22 school year:
Elementary Schools Regular Schedule
7:00 a.m. Bus Drop Off
7:25 a.m. First Bell
7:30 a.m. Tardy Bell
2:10 p.m. Dismissal Bell
Middle Schools Regular Schedule
7:45 a.m. Bus Drop Off
7:55 a.m. First Bell
8:00 a.m. Tardy Bell
3:10 p.m. Dismissal Bell
High Schools Regular Schedule
8:30 a.m. Bus Drop Off
8:45 a.m. First Bell
8:50 a.m. Tardy Bell
3:50 p.m. Dismissal Bell
For Early Release Days/Half-Days, elementary schools will dismiss at 11:00 a.m., middle schools at 11:45 a.m., and high schools at 12:30 p.m.
You can access the approved 2021-22 school calendar here.
For next school year, there will be a structured after-school support system that includes academic and behavioral support, recreational opportunities, meals, and transportation. This offering, called “Lex2.5,” will be made available to all grade levels, and is expected to begin in mid-September. Additional information will be communicated later this month.
We know as we start the beginning of this school year, we are doing so with a number of events transpiring around us with COVID-19. This includes real and perceived expectations and mandates from state and federal entities, the impact of current variants and the possibility of new ones, vaccination approval for individuals 12 and younger, and so on. We will continue to do our best to communicate with stakeholders about how any of this affects daily operations and learning when they substantively occur. Thank you.
Dr. Nicolas Wade
Superintendent of Schools
Note: Announced Lexington Two school orientations and open houses are attached with this story.