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School opening pushed back four days

Tim Croft
tcroft@starfl.com

Superintendent of Schools Jim Norton said Thursday that the start of the school year would be pushed back until Aug. 14.

New student orientation will be Aug. 14 and all students will report Aug. 17.

Students were initially to return Aug. 10; Norton said no other part of the school calendar, at the current time would be impacted.

Pushing the re-opening of schools back a few days accomplishes several goals for the district.

One, it allows teachers additional planning days for instruction both in the classroom and, as it is required, distance learning.

Second, the extra days allow the district to further stockpile needed items such as hand-sanitizer, cleaners, soaps, face masks, shields and the like.

Further, the short delay will allow additional progress in completing ongoing work to replace the energy plants at both junior-senior high schools as well as lighting and air-quality improvements within the facilities.

On Wednesday, the district received formal approval of its re-opening plan from the Florida Department of Education.

Each school’s safety plan for operations under COVID-19 can be found in this week’s edition of The Star as well as www.starfl.com and The Port St. Joe Star Facebook page.