Hermiston School District Pushes Back First Day of New Year to Sept. 8

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The Hermiston School District academic year will start later than past years, with school opening the second week of September.

The Hermiston School District Board of Education adopted an updated 2020-2021 school calendar Monday and moved the first student day to Sept. 8, after the Labor Day holiday.

Being restricted by state guidelines based on measures out of the district’s control, including the local prevalence of COVID-19 cases, the Hermiston School District will begin the school year with distance learning for all students. In order to fully plan for this launch and for the district to offer its staff the necessary professional development, teachers will return Aug. 24 with the students following two weeks later.

To accommodate this change, fall in-service and conference days were removed from the calendar and the last day of school for students was pushed back to June 14.

“We realize the online model doesn’t provide the same level of education to all students, as a classroom setting, but the district will provide in-depth training to teachers to make sure we are giving our students the best possible start to the school year under the circumstances,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tricia Mooney. “We will not take our most vulnerable students for granted and will make every effort to ensure their continued academic success.”

District officials said the top priority is to bring all students back to the buildings as quickly and safely as possible to resume in-person education. Staff is continuing to develop a plan to safely return students to the classroom once the community meets the required health conditions prescribed by the Oregon Department of Education.

The calendar’s second semester is unchanged from prior board approval, except for the last day of school.

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