Darlington County School District releases revised 2020-21 calendar

At its July meeting, the Darlington County Board of Education approved a revised calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. Under the new calendar, the first day of school for all students will be Tuesday, Sept. 8. The first day for teachers will be Monday, Aug. 24.

The district is planning to start school for all students on Sept. 8. School and district personnel are making extensive preparations to ensure the safety and well-being on students and staff for in-person learning. The district is closely monitoring the COVID-19 numbers and will adjust if necessary. The district will also begin classes for the Darlington County Virtual Academy on Sept. 8.

The S.C. Legislature added five instructional days to the school year for students in grades K-8. The extra days are called LEAP days and have been identified as Learn, Evaluate, Analyze and Prepare (LEAP) days. As a result of adding the LEAP days to the beginning of the school year as required by law, students in grades K-8 will finish the school year one week later than high school students.

In addition to the new start date and LEAP days, the district made several other changes to the calendar:

All professional development days were moved to the beginning of the school year to allow teachers time and training to prepare for the new COVID-19 procedures.

The district removed the inclement weather days from the calendar. This year, if schools are closed for inclement weather, those days will become eLearning days for all students.

Nov. 3 is an eLearning day for all students. Schools will be closed, and staff and students will operate from home. This will allow staff and students to continue the learning process while allowing school buildings to be closed for the general election. The district may add additional eLearning days throughout the year.

One day of Christmas vacation was switched to a school day.

Half days were added in February and March to provide teachers with work time without students present. Students will be dismissed before lunch.

One half-day was added in June to allow teachers to close out for the school year.

High schools will have a half-day on June 11. Elementary and middle school students will have a full day of school on that day. On June 18, elementary and middle school students will have a half-day.

Author: Rachel Howell

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