COVID-19 delays school start date in Crenshaw County

Published 6:48 pm Thursday, July 30, 2020

Students in the Crenshaw County School system will now start the 2020-2021 school year on Aug. 24.

Superintendent Dodd Hawthorne told the school board at a special-called meeting that the reason for pushing the start date back from Aug. 11 is two-fold.

“The risk factor for COVID-19 will have decreased, maybe,” he said. “Second, it gives teachers more time to prepare for the challenges coming.”

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Teachers will begin school on Aug. 10 and all professional development days will be placed at the beginning of the school year.

Hawthorne said the school board will decide on Aug. 17 whether students will begin in-person or virtually.

“We want to start school whether virtually or in-person,” Hawthorne said.

Hawthorne said the new calendar includes 175 instruction days instead of the original 179.

Alabama law requires students to receive a minimum of 1,080 hours of instruction time and the new calendar puts students receiving 1,082 hours.

“We are usually not that close,” he said.

Hawthorne said any unexpected time off would mean the board would have to look at adding days to the end of the school year or removing a holiday.

That wouldn’t be necessary if a state of emergency would be declared.

Changes to the calendar include:

  • Removing a four-day weekend in October, and only having Oct. 12 out;
  • Only three days out for Thanksgiving;
  • Removing a four-day weekend in February, and only having Feb. 15 out;
  • Spring Break was also moved back a week to March 29 – April 2;

For those still interested in virtual learning, Hawthorne said it’s not too late to sign-up.