Members of the Trigg County Board of Education debated the start of the 2020-2021 school year yet again during its regular meeting Thursday, considering a possible start after Labor Day in September.

But after much discussion, there were no changes in the recently-approved calendar that sets the first day for students as Aug. 26.

The current calendar, altered from an original Aug. 19 start date set in February, includes two days for a fall break in October, three days for Thanksgiving in November, Christmas and a full week of spring break.

Altering the calendar again would have meant removing the two days for fall break but would still have included the full week in April. A post-Labor Day start to school would have provided 1,066 instructional hours, more than enough to satisfy the 1,062 hours that are required.

It would also have meant that first-graders whose area is part of construction updates in the school system would not have to move twice to accommodate that ongoing construction, as they will now.

Under a school calendar revised yet again, students would have lost 10 instructional days, and one board member said she couldn’t see losing those days. Board members also expressed concerns that the students haven’t taken part in a structured learning day for a while, something the educators said they believe that the youth need.

During Thursday’s meeting, officials also announced that the school system’s summer feeding program for youth will end on Thursday, allowing time for cleaning and preparing the cafeteria for the new school year.

Additionally, two events that had been anticipated in coming weeks will be postponed until later. The Gala of Tables which traditionally welcomes teachers and staff back to school, won’t take place Aug. 24.

Instead organizers hope to have that event during the holidays.

And the board approved a motion on Thursday that will move an in-person graduation for 2020 seniors from Aug. 8 to Oct. 10.

Thursday’s meeting also included an announcement from longtime Trigg educator Beth Sumner stating her plans to retire Sept. 1.

“I know that it’s time for me to move on, and I’m excited to see what’s going to come as this district moves forward,” she said.

For the past 16 years, Sumner, currently the district’s assistant superintendent of instruction, has worked at the central office.

Prior to that, she taught in the classroom and served as the cheerleading coach for Trigg County Middle School.

Sumner said she has been blessed in her work as an educator and enjoyed working with the students, staff and community as a whole.

In other business at the meeting:

  • Director of Student Services and Personnel James Mangels said online registration links for the new school year will be available to the general public Aug. 1 on the school website and through parent portal.
  • Additionally, new students needing help may register in-person from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3 at the school cafeteria, and anyone else needing help with registration may attend 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 5 or Aug. 10 at the cafeteria.
  • The board approved a motion stating all schools in the district are in compliance with all of the state and federal 2020-2021 district funding assurances as reflected in the district funding assurances document.
  • Members also approved a motion to offer parents an opportunity to purchase insurance at a cost of $40 for the year to cover any repairs for the Chromebooks issued to middle and high school students. Parents who don’t purchase the insurance will be responsible for any repairs.
  • The board adopted a textbook plan for middle school youth in reading and writing and also approved a virtual school curriculum for students in kindergarten through the eighth-grade.
  • Members approved a motion to use two vendors to disinfect school facilities during the upcoming year. Each vendor uses a different method of cleaning, and using the two would allow the school system to see if one method works better than the other, officials said.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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