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CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Lodi Unified School District Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer sent out a clarification over the weekend stating that school is scheduled to start on Aug. 3.

“We want to clarify that at the last Board meeting, the Board gave direction to staff to move forward with planning for the 2020-21 school year,” Nichols-Washer said in the release. “The Board did not take action to approve a revised school calendar. At this time, school is scheduled to start on Aug. 3.”

At the June 24 school board meeting, the board voted to move ahead with the school year starting Aug. 3, with students in the classroom contingent on securing supplies to implement safety procedure modifications to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The News-Sentinel reported on June 26 that students would go back on Aug. 24, but that plan has not been voted on.

The board discussed, but did not take action on, a delayed-start plan that would have students in the classroom on Aug. 24 rather than Aug. 3, with three phases to prepare for a safe return: the first week would be dedicated to developing health and safety modifications, the second week would be used for student orientations to teach the new health and safety measure, and the third would have students and teachers engaged in distance learning should the pandemic’s resurgence force a return of stay-at-home orders.

The students would then return for the first day of class on Aug. 24.

District spokeswoman Chelsea Vongehr said on Monday that while that plan is not off the table, it was not voted on by the district trustees.

“At this time, Aug. 3 is the time students will be back at school,” Vongehr said.

The plan will be revisited when the state budget is finalized and enacted, according to Vongehr.

“Potentially,” she said. “It depends if there is flexibility given on instructional days and minute requirements.”

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