Richland One’s Reopening of Schools Plan Receives State Approval

  • The South Carolina Department of Education has approved Richland One’s reopening of schools plan for the 2020-2021 school year, State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman announced Friday.

    Spearman said the approval is contingent upon the district offering an in-person option no later than September 14, 2020.


    “We are modifying our plan to create an in-person option one day a week during Phase 1 of our plan. We will provide additional information to our parents next week,” said Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon. “As we move forward, our priority continues to be protecting the health and safety of our students and staff.”


    There are two learning models in Richland One’s reopening of schools plan – the Phase-In Model and the R1 Virtual School Program. Students would participate in one of the two models.


    The Phase-In Model begins with eLearning (Phase 1) and transitions to hybrid (Phase 2), with students attending school in-person two days a week and learning from home the other three days, then to traditional face-to-face instruction five days a week (Phase 3). The transitions would be made based on the COVID-19 risk rating for Richland County as determined by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The current risk rating is High Risk.


    The R1 Virtual School Program Model consists of 100% online learning for the entire school year, an option for parents who may not feel comfortable with their children returning to school for in-person instruction this year regardless of the COVID-19 risk rating.


    Richland One is extending its July 31 deadline for parents to submit applications for their children to participate in the R1 Virtual School Program to August 4. Details about the district’s Phase-In Model and the R1 Virtual School Program are posted at