New COVID-19 Testing Option Available for SDOC Students and Staff
The School District of Oconee County has partnered with DHEC to provide increased testing availability for SDOC students and staff. Drive-thru testing will be available at the Bountyland Education Campus from 8:00am to 2:00pm, Monday through Friday, for those who would like to be tested.
Testing is for SDOC staff and students only (substitutes & volunteer coaches are eligible).
The PCR test specimen will be collected through a nasal swab.
Results should be received within 24 hours; some results may take longer.
There is NO COST to the student or staff member.
Students and Staff may choose to be tested as frequently as they desire.
Testing Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 2:00pm; no appointment required.
Employees/students/parents/guardians should enter the Bountyland Education campus from South Cove Road (Do not enter from Keowee School Road). Take the first left into Bountyland Education Campus (old Hamilton Career Center). Testing will occur in front of the first breezeway. Cars will exit onto Keowee School Road.This will facilitate a one-way line for testing and help avoid traffic issues.
SDOC updates Mask Requirement for Buses
As the district announced last week, the SC State Department of Education re-instituted the requirement of face masks for students and drivers** on buses. School districts were given until August 30th to be in compliance. The SCDE released a revised memo on Friday, August 26th, to clarify that districts shall implement disciplinary measures for not wearing the mask. The memo said:
“...All districts must be in compliance with this requirement no later than Monday, August 30, 2021. School districts shall implement disciplinary measures designed to enforce this requirement, including, but not limited to suspending a student from riding a bus. However, no student should be placed in an unsafe situation as a result of attempting to board a bus without a face covering.”
The revised memo is linked on the SDOC COVID-19 page. The consequences for a student who refuse to wear a mask on the bus will include:
1st time: Students will receive a warning
2nd time: A phone call will be made to the parents, explaining the consequences
3rd time: Students will be suspended from the bus for one day.
Each additional refusal will result in an increase in the number of days the student is suspended from the bus. It is possible with repeated refusal to wear a mask may result in suspension from the bus for the remainder of the school year.
SDOC will begin implementation of consequences on Tuesday, September 7th.
**A driver is not required to wear a mask if they are the only person on the bus.
FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit to Families
Assistance of up to $50 a month to those who qualify
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households (up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands).
Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 a
t or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
There are three ways for eligible households to apply:
Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742
SDOC Updates COVID-19 Guidelines
Masks are now STRONGLY ENCOURAGED for all students & staff
The School District of Oconee 2021-2022 school year COVID-19 Guidelines have been updated and posted on the district website. A summary of the changes is included below; complete guidelines can be found on the COVID-19 page of the district website.
Masks are now strongly encouraged for all students and staff
Visitors to school buildings will be limited to essential reasons only.
Elementary students will be “cohorted,” meaning classrooms will not “mix” with other classrooms throughout the day, including recess. Elementary students will eat meals in the classroom.
Field trips are suspended for the 1st 9 weeks of school.
It is important to note that these guidelines can change at any time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or legislative action.