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Nelson County board of education sets Aug. 25th as first day of new school year

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 — The Nelson County Board of Education approved a revised 2020-21 school calendar that will push the first day of school from Wednesday, Aug. 5th to Tuesday, Aug. 25, 20202.

WES BRADLEY

Starting school later will give teachers two weeks to prepare for the start of school instead of the usual two days of preparation.

Superintendent Wes Bradley explained that given the changes that the district schools will be implementing due to the Coronavirus, the schools need the time to prepare.

The last day of school will be May 27, 2021 according to the revised calendar. There will be no changes planned for the dates for fall break, winter break or spring break, he said.

VIRTUAL LEARNING OPTIONS. The district will communicate the new calendar to parents and guardians on Wednesday, Bradley said. A new website, welcomebackncs.com, will go live on Friday and provide parents with more details about the changes schools will be making in order to provide a safe environment for students and staff.

Parents will have the option of sending their children to school in the normal manner, or one of several virtual learning options that will allow parents to keep their children home, but still be part of the school learning community.

Bradley said he estimates up to 20 percent of parents may select a virtual learning option in August.

Before the pandemic, NTI (Non-traditional Instruction) was never intended to be a model for extended virtual learning, he said, and it really did not meet the needs of students for virtual learning. NTI was originally intended to give students work to do during snow days or other event when classes were canceled.

The goal is to create instructional models to meet the needs of both in-person and virtual education spaces. “It’s going to be a challenge for us to prepare those,” he said.

SCHOOL OUTREACH. School personnel will be making contact by telephone with parents and guardians about the changes in the coming weeks, Bradley told the board. The district wants to answer parents questions about the changes so they’ll be able to make the choice that’s best for their family.

“We want to create a sense of normalcy that is healthy,” Bradley told the board, “and its going to take time to see what that looks like.”

The www.WelcomeBackNCS.com website will go live on Friday with lots of information about school. Bradley noted that while the same guidelines apply for the district schools, how the schools implement those guidelines may vary from one building to the next.

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