With over 50% of students in quarantine, Whale Branch Middle goes virtual


BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – Whale Branch Middle School is shifting to virtual instruction for one week due to COVID-19.

According to the Beaufort County School District (BCSD), just over 50% of the student body is in quarantine. The decision to go virtual, officials say, was made to mitigate any potential spread of the virus.

“The decision to transition an entire school to virtual learning, even temporarily, is not made lightly,” said BCSD Superintendent Frank Rodriguez, adding, “As school and district administrators, we take many factors into consideration when analyzing the impact that COVID-19 is having on a school’s ability to effectively and safely continue normal operations.”

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control provides updates on school cases on Tuesdays and Fridays. As of Tuesday, Sept. 6, DHEC reported six student cases at Whale Branch Middle with no cases among faculty members.

Students will shift online this Friday with regular face-to-face instruction expected to resume Monday, Sept. 20. BCSD says virtual instruction will follow the normal school day schedule and teachers will instruct students live over Zoom.

This is the first school in the district to shift to virtual learning since the start of the school year. Masks are optional but strongly encouraged for all BCSD students and staff members.

“We realize this temporary shift to virtual learning is an inconvenience for families,” said Rodriguez. “But, we are prepared to do what is necessary to keep our students and staff safe.”

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