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OPS to start school Aug. 26; days will be extended

June 25, 2020

Graphic by Owensboro Times

Students at Owensboro Public Schools will officially return to school Aug. 26 for the 2020-21 academic year, and each day of instruction will be slightly extended. The previous start date was Aug. 12. 

The remaining calendar, including Fall Break and holiday breaks, will remain unchanged. The last day of school is still scheduled for May 21.

About 5-15 minutes will be added to the end of each day of instruction depending on which building they are in, according to OPS Superintendent Matthew Constant.

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Constant said due to a state law that was passed in 2017, schools can count the number of hours instead of the number of days of instruction to make a school year.

The new calendar is in line with the ones announced last week by Daviess County Public Schools and Owensboro Catholic Schools.

Constant said the district is still pushing hard to find a way to start school with in-person classes, but no plans are final.

“I know that all of our goals are the same from the board to our staff to our families — let’s get kids back to some sort of in-person school for our fall semester,” he said. “We are working hard to make that goal a reality based on the health guidelines we continue to receive.”

The delayed start date allows OPS a couple of extra weeks to work out the details of returning. Constant said they hope to release a plan by July 24.

“If we could just keep taking a few more collective breaths, we promise we’re working on the plan and we will be getting that out as soon as we possibly can,” he said. “This gives us a little more time to plan in terms of details, and to communicate it fully and in enough advance for our families to plan. I feel that families need a 30-day advance notice of our plan.”

On Wednesday, the Kentucky Department of Education released at Healthy at School plan that details guidelines for next school year. The full, detailed document can be found here.

Constant said the district will work on figuring out how to apply those guidelines at OPS.

Earlier this week, OPS sent out a survey to families asking for feedback that will help make decisions about the start of school in 2020-21. Constant said they have received nearly 2,000 responses so far. An additional survey will go out to staff Friday morning.

“Many great ideas have been shared and it’s giving us a feel for what direction to go as we plan,” he said.

Surrounding school districts

Daviess County Public Schools announced last week that their students would officially return to school Aug. 26 for the 2020-21 academic year, and 15 minutes will be added to the end of each day of instruction.

Like OPS, the remaining calendar remains unchanged, and the last day of school for students is still currently set for May 21.

The DCPS revised 2020-21 calendar is available by clicking here.

Owensboro Catholic Schools, as well as Trinity and St. Mary of the Woods in Whitesville, also confirmed last week they will return to school Aug. 26, and they will have extended days. Their calendars will match that of DCPS as they have done in years past. 

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June 25, 2020

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