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Orangeburg County School District superintendent asks for patience as reopening plan developed
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Orangeburg County School District

Orangeburg County School District superintendent asks for patience as reopening plan developed

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Orangeburg County School District officials are asking for patience and understanding as the district continues to develop the specifics of its back-to-school reopening plan.

"This changes every single day," Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster said during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

“This is a living document in all senses of the word. We think we have it right one day, and we can get news and have to go back in and change and edit on the fly,” he said.

A 63-page back-to-school reopening document which has received input from teachers, administrators and parents may not even be finalized when August and September roll around, he said.

"We are trying to keep up every single day with everything that is going on," he said. "We are asking for the patience of our community as we make these changes. We are keeping abreast of those changes to make sure we are in line."

Trustee Idella Carson expressed concerns about teachers with young children who may not have child care.

Foster said the district is looking into how to address the issue and is asking for the community's support in formulating a plan.

"I am asking this community for support and understanding," he said. "It is not an ideal circumstance for those who have children in school. I am going to need everybody's consideration."

Trustee Vernell Goodwin echoed Foster's call for patience and understanding.

"Everyone is working hard," Goodwin said. "Appreciate each other and have patience and respect each other in this situation."

A back-to-school plan will be finalized later this week and released to the public the first week in August.

In other business:

• Trustees recognized Branchville High School Beta Club students for their accomplishments at the recent national Beta Club convention.

The students were sent a letter of congratulations from Foster.

• Trustees were introduced to the district's new assistant superintendent of finance, Brandi Gist. She will come on board Aug. 17. Gist recently served in Spartanburg County School District Seven as a coordinator of federal programs and as a director of finance for the district.

• Trustees gave first reading to the district’s Title IX policy. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. The policy outlines the grievance and appeals process as well as other rules and procedures for the school district in handling any sexual harassment complaints.

• Following a closed session, trustees approved the hire of Merry Glenne Piccolino to serve as the assistant superintendent for communications and business and community partnerships.

Since 2014, Piccolino has led communications and community partnerships for Aiken County Public Schools.

• The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the school district headquarters at 102 Founders Court.

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