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State school board could urge later start date
Thursday's agenda includes push for Sept. 8 start date
Courtesy of Georgia Department of Education

MONROE, Ga. — Public schools across Georgia would be urged to delay their start date into September under a plan that will be discussed by the state school board Thursday.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday night on plans for a possible Sept. 8 start date. That would be more than a month delay for the Walton County School District, which currently has an Aug. 4 start date for students.

Social Circle City Schools previously delayed the start of the year to Aug. 10, to give teachers more time to prepare for the social distancing and other obstacles brought by COVID-19.

It’s unclear if the state Board of Education has the power to change local calendars.

Walton County’s plan is to have in-person instruction on Aug. 4 unless directed otherwise by Gov. Brian Kemp or the state Department of Education. However, the district will provide an option for distance learning for families who do not wish to send their children back for classes on campus.

Parents of children in the Social Circle City Schools have until Friday to return a form to register for remote learning in the new school year.

The Gwinnett County Public Schools decided Monday to start the school year with online learning only on Aug. 12.

The Newton County School System revised its calendar, with the first day for students now Aug. 24.

The Georgia High School Association recently delayed the start of the high school football season by two weeks, to Sept. 4. Other fall sports will begin on time.