Williamsburg Independent School students are getting a little bit more summer vacation.
During a special called meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Williamsburg Independent Board of Education voted to postpone the start of the new school year from Aug. 26 until Sept. 8.
Board Chairman Dr. John Jeffries, and board members Roger Faulkner, Kim White and Kim Williams approved the change. Board member Allan Steely wasn’t able to be present for Wednesday’s special called meeting.
Superintendent Tim Melton said that he thought the calendar change was best given what is happening in the area right now with COVID-19.
The new school calendar sets the end of the school year on May 21, and doesn’t mean additional days that students will be in attendance due to the late start.
The new school calendar has students attending school on 161.5 instructional days to fulfill the 1,062 instructional hour requirement.
The school calendar typically includes 170 instructional days.
“It basically takes days off what we are going,” Melton noted.
Melton said that based upon survey data about 60 percent of parents want their children to return to school this fall in-person, and 40 percent are opting for remote learning from home.
“With where we are at and where this virus is at, I feel this would be best to help us so we can offer in-seat instruction,” Melton said of the calendar change.
With 60 percent in-person instruction, Melton said he thinks the school will be able to adequately socially distance.
“There have also been adjustments made to the staffing to make sure we are able to social distance,” Melton said.
Melton said that there will be natural break points throughout school year when students can go from remote learning at home to in-person learning and vice versa, including fall break, Thanksgiving break, the time around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, mid-February and spring break.
“It still allows some time for students to opt back in if they feel comfortable being in-seat,” Melton said.
The Corbin Independent Board of Education voted Monday to postpone the start of its school year from Aug. 26 to Sept. 9.
The Whitley County School District is still slated to begin the school year on Aug. 26, but this could potentially change during the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting, which will take place on Aug. 13.