Aberdeen Board of Trustees Delays First Day of School

ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) — August is just around the corner, and so is the start of a new school year.

Caution fueled by the continuing COVID-19 surge is causing a change in how the school is done.

Now at least one district is changing when school will start.

Originally, the Aberdeen school district was supposed to start on August 6th, but they are now pushing that start date back to August 24th.

And they are using those extra days to make sure that students, staff, and parents are all prepared for the upcoming school year.

“I think most of them are going to enjoy a late start, that means a little more time at home,” said Mary McMillian, parent of a student.

Earlier this week, the Aberdeen school leaders made the tough call to push the first day of school back almost three weeks.

“The reason behind us pushing back the start date is to ensure that our administrator, our staff members, and the entire learning community in the Aberdeen school district is prepared,” said Temeka Shannon, the Aberdeen Chief Academic Officer. “With the COVID cases increasing, we just want to take the extra precautions to ensure the safety and health of all of our students.”

Shannon said the move underlines the district’s top priority.

“Aberdeen school district is committed to the safety, health, and well being of all of our students and all of our staff members, ” said Shannon. “As the CDC and as the Mississippi department of health, as they release new guidelines, we are going to follow every guideline humanly possible to ensure the safety and well being of our entire learning community.”

The MDE requires schools to have 180 calendar days for students and 187 days for teachers, so the school could stretch deeper into Spring.

“But nothing supersedes the importance of health and safety for our students. So if that means we go a little longer, then that means we go a little longer because we want all of our students and staff members safe,” said Shannon.

“That says that the school district is looking out for our children as well as the bus drivers and the parents and grandparents,” said McMillian. “They’ve got us in mind.”

Aberdeen has decided to offer a hybrid model and a distance learning model for students.

With the hybrid model, students are on an A schedule or B schedule and will come to school on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Friday’s will be used as a parent-teacher contact day and for sanitation.

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