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Start of Hall County school year delayed a week

Hall County students will have to wait one more week to get back to school.

The Hall County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday evening to extend the teacher pre-planning period an extra week, through Aug. 21. The calendar change would push the first day of classes to Aug. 24. 

Superintendent Will Schofield said the decision was made in response to concerning trends in local COVID-19 cases. He said the extra week of time would be used to give school employees more in-depth training in school safety precautions.

“Although we’re not exactly sure what this year is going to bring us, one thing I do know is that the overarching goals this year are No. 1 that we keep our students and our team members healthy, and No. 2 that whatever instructional model we have to deliver from time-to-time throughout this year, that we do it with integrity,” Schofield said at a school board meeting July 27. “With that in mind, I’m asking you gentlemen to extend pre-planning for an additional week, which would be Aug. 3 through Aug. 21, giving our team members time to make sure we are absolutely ready to keep everybody as safe as possible.”

Schofield said at a webinar conducted by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce last week that precautions taken by schools would include social distancing wherever possible, as well as an increased emphasis on hand sanitizing for students and staff. 

School employees will also be required to wear masks while working. Hall school staff, as well as students, will also be asked to pre-screen themselves for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19 every morning before entering a school building.