DeLand, FL - The Volusia County School Board voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Calendar Committee to push back the beginning of school to August 31. Human Resources Director Rachel Hazel made the presentation to the Board on behalf of the calendar committee.
Option 1 is the calendar that was planned last year, well before COVID-19, with the original start date of August 17, 2020. In Option 2, with a school start date of August 31, 2020,students would attend 171 days of school, which is five days short of the state requirement. Hazel said those could be absorbed by using 28 early-release days. The first semester would end after winter break and would be 85 days long. The second semester would have 86 days.
Hazel said the calendar committee decided that a third option was not necessary at this time and decided to vote on the two options available. "We had four votes for option one and 20 votes for option two. So that's 83 percent and 17 percent for a final recommendation, of the calendar committee recommends option two, a student start date of August 31 with calendar adjustments."
School Board member Ruben Colon offered his comment time to Volusia United Educators President Elizabeth Albert. Albert has been pushing for a 'safe and healthy start' to school and had wanted the start date changed. She began with thanking the calendar committee for changing the date. "This is a great step in the right direction to move to August 31 for the student start date. We are grateful for that opportunity and we, of course, are supporting a return to school only when it is safe to do so." She did ask if the school start date could be reconsidered as it get's closer and take a look at the number of COVID-19 cases at that time.