With new numbers showing a rise in COVID-19 cases, the Fort Mill School District has updated it plans to require face coverings of all returning students and staff.

The school district will also install Plexiglas shields at student seating in elementary school classes were class sizes may limit social distancing options, according to an announcement late Monday.

“This new data, along with the additional feedback we received from staff and parents following the plan’s release regarding the use of face coverings by students and staff has led the administration to make changes to the Return to School Plan” a parent email says.

The announcement continues, “At this time the district will require the use of face coverings by students and staff for in-person learning when we return to school in August. The district is providing face coverings to all staff and will provide face coverings for any student who cannot provide their own. 

“The district will also install Plexiglas shields at student seating in elementary school classes were class sizes may limit social distancing options. These measures are being implemented in an effort to promote a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and staff.”

Another change: Parents have longer to decide on whether to register their children for the Virtual Academy.

The district is extending the registration window to the close of business on Friday, July 17 to allow parents to determine if they would like to register for the Virtual Academy or return to in-person learning.

“We understand that these changes may cause stress for some of our families. We hope our families and staff will know the district is working hard to provide the best options we can for all families while ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff,” the announcement says.

“As with all plans related to the pandemic, the district will continue to monitor the situation and guidelines available. Any further changes to the plans will be announced as they are determined.”