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Aug. 26 to be first day of school for Boyle County

The Boyle County Board of Education approved an amended school calendar at a special-called meeting Tuesday night in which the opening day of school was pushed back two weeks and fall break was shortened.

With the new plan approved, students will return to school on Wednesday, Aug. 26 instead of the originally proposed plan of Wednesday, Aug. 12. Teachers and other school staff will report two days earlier on Monday, Aug. 24.

The move allows for flexibility in the calendar, school administrators say, with a lot of uncertainty lingering due to COVID-19. Starting later in August, according to a state law passed in 2017, essentially waives the requirement for schools to provide 170 instructional days and 1,062 instructional hours.

Instead, schools that start later in August must only adhere to the 1,062 instructional hours requirement.

Susan Taylor, the district’s chief information officer, also is the chair of the district’s calendar committee. She said using this “variable calendar” will be of great benefit to the district as they plan for a much different school year.

In order to avoid pushing the last day of school further back, fall break will now be a four-day weekend, with school being closed Oct. 8 and 9 for the break as opposed to a full week. The last day of school is scheduled for Friday, May 21.

Taylor said the district surveyed parents, teachers, and students about calendar options and most of the individuals surveyed did not want to completely eliminate fall break, but were open to a shortened break.

“They were more in line to accept a calendar that reduced fall break instead of doing away with it,” Taylor said. “More than 50 percent of our respondents either had a positive opinion about that or selected ‘maybe’ so we felt confident that doing that wouldn’t go against what we had in the survey.”

The calendar committee is composed of teachers, community members, parents, and administrators. The board unanimously approved the amended calendar.