COVID-19 School Closure Updates

UPDATE - JULY 13, 2020

UPDATE: The deadline to submit an application for Virtual School Academy has been extended to Friday, July 24.

Greetings Florence School District 3 Families, this is your superintendent, Laura Hickson, with an important message about the 2020-2021 school year.

First, I would like to say thank you! Thank you for your support and unity during the sudden shutdown that caused us to shift to 100% remote learning.

School districts across our state and country face challenging circumstances to begin the 2020-21 school year.  However, harsh conditions present leadership opportunities to innovate, retool and meet our students' needs and accomplish our mission – ensuring all students are college and career ready. In FSD3, we embrace the words penned by former First Lady Michelle Obama, "You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, you need to understand that your experience, facing and overcoming adversity, is one of your biggest advantages. You are developing grit, resilience and determination as you struggle."

I believe that we are equipped for this moment and for these challenging times. Our leadership team, school board and staff have worked all summer to leverage our technology platform and reimagine school programs to ensure high outcomes for all students in the fall. Just as important, we have renewed our commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for all.

Without a doubt, we will need our families' support and commitment to achieve these goals.  Not all decisions will be popular as we implement necessary protocols to keep students and staff healthy.  However, I can assure you that all decisions will be made with the underlying belief that we need to maximize face-to-face instructional time between students and teachers as much as possible in a loving environment that also increases safety.

For families wrestling with the decision to return to traditional school due to COVID-19, we are proud to offer an expansion of our current Virtual School Academy that will serve grades 5K-12. FSD3 Virtual Academy is designed to help students reach their highest potential in a positive and supportive online environment.

Our planning and preparations are geared to give our families choice. Therefore, returning is not mandatory, as continued remote learning is still an option. If you are not comfortable sending your child back to school in August – face-to-face, please complete the virtual academy application by Thursday, July 16. The application will be released Monday, July 13. If you have specific questions, please call the district office, leave a message, and your call will be returned within 48 hours.

For families who are returning to us face to face, we look forward to seeing our students again soon and serving alongside you to help them bridge gaps, grow and thrive.

FSD3 Family, we have been participating in intentional planning and preparations; however, this will be for naught if we do not all realize that we are in this together. We all share the responsibility to help each other remain virus-free. There will be new protocols to follow for those who return to our school sites. There will be changes and controlled protocols for the instructional and extra-curricular activities for the safety of each other.

To all of our FSD3 family, we all bear the burden of a huge new responsibility. It is incumbent upon you to do all that you can to avoid the virus before you return in the fall. Between now and your return date, please follow the many published guidelines or best practices that you have received  for reducing the spread of the virus such as avoid big crowds, washing your hands frequently, wear facial masks, please, wear a face mask, and practice social distancing.

To date, we have:

  • Cleaned and sanitized all buildings;
  • Ordered PPE (masks etc.) for our students, faculty, and staff to minimize the exposure;
  • Ordered gloves;
  • Installed sneeze guards in all office spaces; and
  • Established a specific partnership with local medical officials that could support the families and staff of FSD3.

At this moment, I must say that we really do not know how pervasive the virus will be in August. And for that reason, we have been planning for multiple possibilities. The health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and community continue to be our first priority. We understand the anxiety that many of you have. Therefore, as the date for reopening schools for students gets closer, I will be updating you more frequently. I will host a Virtual Town Hall soon for parents, students and staff - so please look out for that announcement.

Until then, stay safe!

Virtual Academy Application Form

UPDATE - JUNE 22, 2020
The S.C. Department of Education's AccelerateED Task Force released its Guidance and Recommendations for 2020–21 School Year.

View Low, Medium and High COVID-19 spread designations (as of June 21, 2020)

Key excerpts from final report 


UPDATE #2 - APRIL 22, 2020

Governor Henry McMaster announced Wednesday, April 22, that South Carolina schools would remain closed for the rest of the school year due to safety concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florence School District 3 Superintendent Laura Hickson said the district would continue with its blended learning plan, which includes both eLearning and printed learning packets for students. Teachers, along with school and district administrators will continue to provide support to students and parents, she said.

"FSD3 teachers and staff will continue to work with our students and support parents to ensure students are engaged in learning," Mrs. Hickson said.

Also, the district will continue to provide meals for students on Mondays (breakfast and lunch for Monday and Tuesday) and Wednesdays (breakfast and lunch for Wednesday-Friday). Meals will continue to be available for pickup at J. C. Lynch Elementary, Olanta Creative Arts and Science Magnet School, and Lake City High School from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. School buses will continue to make meal deliveries to students on Mondays and Wednesdays at regular bus stops.


UPDATE - APRIL 22, 2020

The eLearning Grading Policy is available here.


UPDATE - APRIL 18, 2020

Due to hazardous weather conditions forecast, Florence School District 3 will not deliver meals or have meals available for pick up on Monday, April 20. The district will deliver and have meals available for pick up on Tuesday, April 21. The schedule for Wednesday, April 22, will remain the same as it has been.

Meal pickup is available at Olanta Magnet School, J.C. Lynch Elementary School and Lake City High School from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


UPDATE - APRIL 13, 2020

Due to hazardous weather conditions, Florence School District 3 will not deliver meals or have meals available for pick up on Monday, April 13. The district will deliver and have meals available for pick up on Tuesday, April 14. We apologize for the inconvenience.


UPDATE - APRIL 10, 2020

A new message from Superintendent Laura Hickson


UPDATE - APRIL 8, 2020

Greetings to all Florence School District Three Families!

We continue to be amazed by the accomplishments of our students and teachers during this closure, and we recognize it would not be possible without the commitment of our parents and guardians. We expect all students to work daily, complete assignments, and not lose instructional time. Please know that we recognize there are important issues being faced by our community. However, let’s work together to keep our students engaged in learning.

If you are struggling with how to help your child, please visit the FSD3 eLearning link on our district web page or reach out to your child’s teachers via email or phone. The eLearning site explains how to log in to Google Classroom, how to download assignments, and other important information.

We have two very important announcements:

  1. We realize that this is a difficult time for everyone and we all need a break.Therefore, we are happy to share with you that we will continue to honor Spring Break.Students will not be assigned school work during the week of April 13- April 18.Please allow your child to rest and do activities that keep their mind off of the negative things happening around them. This is also a good time to catch up on work or get ahead. They are still children and deserve that mental break!Below is a link with some activities that your child may safely enjoy during the week of Spring Break!

  2. After Spring Break, it is very important that your child get back on track with learning!The SC Department of Education has advised that grading will continue throughout this shut down.Students’ grades from 3rd 9 weeks and the grades from 4th 9 weeks (grades accumulated through e-learning and learning packets) will be averaged together for one grade.Therefore, failure to do school work over the shut-down could result in a failing grade and could result in your child being retained for the upcoming school year. Again, if students do not work and complete assignments, he or she will be retained – will not pass to the next grade. We want our children to be successful so it is vital that they complete the learning packets, log in to complete e-learning assignments and give their best efforts Monday- Friday.

 Thank you for partnering with us for the benefit of your child’s academic success.  We are all in this together!


UPDATE - APRIL 1, 2020

Florence School District 3 continues to provide reimbursable meals to its students during the school closure related to COVID-19.

For the safety of our staff and the community and to comply with the practice of social distancing, the district will serve only Mondays and Wednesdays each week at three locations. Students will receive two days’ worth of breakfast and lunch items during the Monday meal offering and three days’ worth during the Wednesday meal offering.

Beginning, April 6, two additional sites will open at Olanta Elementary and J. C. Lynch Elementary.

Locations/Feeding Sites Serving Meals 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Olanta Creative Arts & Science Magnet - drive-thru & school bus deliveries

312 North Jones Road

Olanta, SC  29114


J. C. Lynch Elementary School - drive-thru & school bus deliveries

124 Hicks Road Coward

Coward, SC  29530


Lake City High School – drive-thru & school bus deliveries

905 N. Matthews Road

Lake City, SC  29560

The service is only available for children under the age of 18 and children should be present to receive the meals. In the event the children are not present at meal pick up, the parent or guardian is required to provide the names of the children they are receiving meals for at the stop.


UPDATE - MARCH 31, 2020

If you are a parent of a child who attends school in Florence School District Three and do not have internet access at home, please contact Shelia Knotts at 843-374-8652 extension 1144 or send an email to If your call is directed to voicemail, please leave a message with your contact number.


UPDATE - MARCH 27, 2020

SCETV will have instructional content for middle and high school students EVERY DAY the week of March 30. Early learning content (K-5) is scheduled for 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. each day. Middle and high school content is scheduled from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. each day.  See the complete schedule here.

SCETV also offers resources for parents and teachers

Additional information, to include supplemental learning activities, can be found at


UPDATE - MARCH 26, 2020

Use this link to access all e-learning assignments and tutorials for all grades.


UPDATE - MARCH 25, 2020
FSD3 has extended the deadline for online registration for the 2020-2021 school year. The new deadline to register students is Tuesday, June 30.


UPDATE - MARCH 24, 2020
Governor Henry McMaster and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman today announced that South Carolina’s schools will remain closed through April 30.


UPDATE - March 23, 2020
Beginning Monday, March 23, Florence School District 3 will shift its meal deliveries to bus riders and its “grab-and-go” food program to twice a week, while still providing a full week’s worth of nutritional breakfast and lunch meals.

On Monday, students will receive food for Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, students will receive food for the remainder of the week (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday).

The meal bags will contain breakfast, lunch and a snack, so only one trip needs to be made each day.

Any child who is 18 years old or younger can get drive-thru, “grab-and-go” meal bags at Lake City High on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. The child or children should be present at the time of pick up.

Buses will continue to deliver meals to regular bus stops on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.


South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has ordered all schools in the state to close beginning March 16 and remain closed for students until March 31 in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Below is information for the continuation of instruction for students as well as the availability of breakfast and lunch for students.

Important Information

Florence County School District 3 has developed a communication plan to notify parents and staff of learning assignments and special announcements during the school closing.  School administrators will share the expectations of the Learning Plan with faculty and staff in their buildings.  Parents and other stakeholders will be notified of the Learning Plan and notification of updates using district/school websites, mobile app, social media, and local media.

An overview of the notification plan is below:

  • Provide a copy of the Learning Plan and student packet to administrators, faculty, and staff explaining how the Plan and assignments will work.
  • A link will be available on the district website of the Learning Plan assignments for all stakeholders.
  • Share plan for disbursement of assignments.
  • Announce potential additional closure and additional learning updates through the district/school’s notification system, district/school websites, mobile app, social media, automated phone calls, and local media.

K-11 Learning Packets Distribution for Students

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, parents may come to the school to pick up student(s) assignments between the hours of 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Parents who are sick, or not able to pick up their student’s assignments, should contact their school via telephone or email their school principal.  All LCHS Seniors and Alternative Center for Education (ACE) students (Grades 7-12) will be issued a Chromebook.

At-Home Student Academic Standards packets 
(New material will continue to be added over the coming days, so be sure to check for additional assignments.)

Meal Distribution for Students

FSD3 has been approved by the SCDE to provide meals to students during this school closing.  Grab and go breakfast and lunch meals will be provided to all children aged 18 or younger Monday-Friday beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020.   School buses will deliver breakfast and lunch to all regular bus stops and other non-bus stop areas. Delivery routes will begin at 10 a.m. For car riders and those who walk to school, car drive-thru pickup only is available from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the LCHS campus.  No walkers will be allowed on the LCHS campus.  Signage will be posted on campus to direct individuals to the meal pickup location.

Daily Breakfast and Lunch Menus (PDF)

Additional information will be announced on the district website and through social media.

Teacher Responsibility

Assignment packets by grade-level will be issued to all parents. Teachers are free to add additional assignments, but all students will complete the standards aligned assignment packets first. Teachers will contact students Monday – Friday from home to provide academic assistance to students and parents.

Teachers will be required to keep regular school hours to assist and respond to messages from students and parents. 

Student Responsibility

While working, note or write down questions you may have.

Principal and teachers will routinely provide a call to parents and students to answer those questions and explain assignments.  Students will be responsible for completing their own assignments.

If a student needs assistance, he/she should contact his/her teacher using the contact information provided within the Learning Plan student packet.

Students are responsible for submitting assignments within five days of returning to school if they encounter any issues completing the assignments.

Parents can contact the teacher or administrator if his/her child need additional assignments.

Students with Disabilities/Accommodations

Students who have accommodations for instruction will be provided with or have access to those accommodations and appropriate educational materials. Students with disabilities who do not use an online platform for eLearning or for whom an online platform is not appropriate, will be provided with appropriate learning packets.

For any questions and/or concerns in reference to accommodations, please contact Cheryl Hubbard-George (

District Technology Support

For students on virtual learning, the director of technology, chief academic officer, chief operations officer, and superintendent, as well as virtual staff and principals, will be available to assist students and/or parents who are having technical issues or issues accessing the Learning Plan assignments.

Email addresses where technology and general support will be provided to parents and students are as follows:

At-Home Academic Standards Packet

In Florence School District Three, the safety of our children and staff is our number one priority, and we are committed to providing a safe learning environment for all. 

In light of the COVID-19, FSD3 has prepared At-Home Student Academic Standards packets for our students to continue standards-based academic work from home. These At-Home Student Academic Standards Packet align to our South Carolina Academic Standards for all core content areas (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies) as well as current units your child is studying in classes. While we are out of school, your child should be actively working on his/her packet as well as have 20 minutes of daily reading.  Students should complete all assignments provided while school is closed. 

Your child’s teacher will be contacting him/her to provide academic assistance, to continue to encourage students to strive to do their best, and to touch base in regards to where students are with completion of his/her packet. 

Upon return to school, this packet will be required to be turned in to your child’s homeroom teacher or 1st period teacher depending on your child’s grade level. This packet will be used as supplemental grades to ensure your child’s academic growth continues even as we are out of school.

Please continue to encourage your student to do the best he/she can ---the most important thing is that they continue developing their core content  area fluency and skills as needed for grade level proficiency while we are out of school. In order for this to be successful, we must continue to work together to ensure our students are actively pursuing college and/or career readiness. As always, thank you for your assistance in this educational matter!

If you have any questions or concerns, please email one of the following and we will respond within 24 hours or as soon as possible: