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Conway's Tonka Hemingway kicks in the 9-41 loss to Myrtle Beach. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Fall practices for high school football will begin June 22, according to Horry County Schools Chief Officer of Student Services Velna Allen.

“I know our student athletes are ready to get back into the swing of things,” Allen said.

Allen said during Monday night's virtual board meeting that she didn’t want to seem as though they were showing partiality by only holding practice for football, saying that the other fall sports like golf, cross country, and swimming, were individual sports and those athletes had already been practicing.

Middle school teams will begin after school resumes, she said, saying that was in line with what the district had done in previous years.

All the same requirements will be in place, including updated physicals and parental consent forms, with one new form - an assumption of risk waiver.

Allen said the plan is to have conditioning practice for two weeks, held at outdoor facilities, and they plan to follow guidelines provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the CDC, and the South Carolina High School League.

The athletes will be in groups of ten with one coach per each ten students. They will use social distancing and coaches will be asked to use a mask at all times, and athletes will be asked to wear masks when not actively participating in conditioning activities.

Allen said all athletes and coaches will be screened before they will be allowed to practice in any drills, and will practice in 45-minute segments with proper sanitation after each segment.

No parents will be allowed at the practices.

“We’re asking that only coaches, student athletes and trainers be in the area,” Allen said.

Hopefully, Allen said, if things go well with these restrictions, soon the athletes will be able to move back into their weight room and indoor facilities.

Plans are also being made for cheerleading.

“Unfortunately we’ve not had tryouts yet,” Allen said.

For the next two weeks, the teams will have virtual meetings to show those that want to try out the moves for new routines, and tryouts should begin July 6-10.

Re-opening schools

The state’s AccelerateED Task Force sent out a draft of guidelines Monday morning to receive public input from around the state regarding options for how to re-open schools safely in the Fall.

Read more about those guidelines HERE.

“The situation … is a fluid one,” said Superintendent Rick Maxey.

The district has put together their own school re-opening committee involving parents, teachers, staff members, administration and more.

Maxey said the document with guidelines was just received today, and the group would be reviewing and providing feedback.

“What we’re aiming to do is expand that initial group on reopening to basically become a similar task force for Horry County Schools,” Maxey said. “One of our goals would be to keep our public informed – once we have substantial info we can share, we will push that out through social media, etc.”

In the coming weeks, Maxey said the group will be surveying parents and constituents for feedback on how things went with distance learning, to revise things in the event the district would have to use distance learning in the future.

“We will take the guidelines prepared and given to districts around the state and make that a part of our plan … I knew that would be on everyone’s mind but that’s a work in progress. I don’t have a lot of answers at this point,” Maxey said.

Check back with MyHorryNews.com for more information about the local school reopening task force as details emerge. 

New principals

Three new principals were officially and unanimously approved by the Board of Education tonight.

  • Tanika McKissick, current assistant principal at Conway High School, will move on to be the new principal of Conway High School beginning July 1.
  • Demetrius Williams, current assistant principal at Whittemore Park Middle School and former staff member at Early College High School, will become principal of Early College High School beginning July 1.
  • Kristin Altman, current assistant principal at Carolina Forest High School, will become the principal of Myrtle Beach High School on July 1.
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