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East County Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2020 2 months ago

School Board of Manatee County approves new start date

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On a new start date of Aug. 17, all students can choose to return in-person five days per week, participate in a hybrid schedule or continue e-learning.
by: Liz Ramos Staff Writer

School District of Manatee County students will have an extra week of summer as the School Board of Manatee County voted to push back the first day of school from Aug. 10 to Aug. 17.

The school board approved the district's reopening plans with changes in a 3-2 vote during the board's special meeting July 14. Board members Charlie Kennedy and Dave Miner were the dissenting votes.

The decision to push back the start of school was to provide more time for teachers and staff members to prepare for the new methods of providing instruction.

Changes were also made to the options families can choose for learning.

Cynthia Saunders, the superintendent of the School District of Manatee County, changed her elementary school recommendation. In a previous recommendation, Saunders said all elementary school students and sixth graders would return to school five days per week. Now, the district is allowing pre-K through sixth grade students to choose a hybrid schedule as well.

Under the approved recommendation, all students, no matter the grade, have three options: returning to school five days per week, participating in a hybrid schedule or doing e-learning full time.

A hybrid schedule would have students on campus two days per week and participating in e-learning at home three days per week.

Schools will reach out to families individually to determine their preferred method of instruction, and parents have until July 22 to notify their schools of which plan they want their students to follow to provide enough time for teachers and staff to set up schedules and complete planning.

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