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Washington County delays school start by two weeks, now Aug. 24

Washington County delays school start by two weeks, now Aug. 24

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ABINGDON, Va. — Summer break was just extended by two weeks for Washington County students.

The county School Board decided Wednesday to delay school opening from Aug. 10 to Aug. 24.

This marks the latest start date for county schools in several years.

“Our current hybrid plan remains in place,” said Superintendent Brian Ratliff. “The only update is that school will open on Aug. 24 as opposed to Aug. 10.”

Under the hybrid plan, developed by school officials due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students will attend school two days a week, according to a roster based on how students’ names fall in the alphabet. Students are also expected to complete online instruction on other days, though Wednesdays are set aside for special instruction and conferences.

In between, schools are to set to be scrubbed and sanitized.

This hybrid model, according to Ratliff, has been designed to cut down on large numbers of students congregating in one place and to create social distancing as the pandemic continues.

On Wednesday, the School Board issued a note to parents announcing the delay.

On the school system’s Facebook page, the school system said the delay is “due to recent and upcoming guidelines released by the Virginia Department of Health and to allow for more teacher training on the adopted hybrid learning model.”

This later date, in turn, has trickled down to other plans.

B.J. Lasley, principal of Abingdon High School, addressed an email to parents Wednesday, noting that his school’s freshman orientation on Aug. 6 has been canceled. Lasley wrote, “We will be in touch soon with more specifics.”

The school system’s Facebook page also noted, “As the VDH releases more information, all school system opening plans are subject to change.” | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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