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Teachers select Aug. 5 start date for calendar

Washington County teachers, who recently voted on three versions of calendars for the 2014-2015 school year, selected version two, which has school starting on Tuesday, Aug. 5 and includes class on Election Day.
The Washington County Board of Education shared its concerns about having school open on Thursday, Aug. 7, in previous meetings, citing safety issues. Some board members advocated seeing what had to be done to remove the schools as an election site to increase student safety.
Although the board also had concerns about presenting teachers with an option, putting the responsiblity of making the safety call of whether school should be held on Election Day in their hands, the option was still presented to them for their vote.
The third option, which would have had students not attending class during Election Day, received only 153 votes from the teachers. That option had school starting the Monday after Election Day, and extending summer vacation by three or four days, but losing a few days from Fall Break.
The board asked Director of Schools Ronald Dykes to approach the county Election Commission and start the discussion process to see if it was feasible to take voting out of schools during its January meeting.
The selected calendar, which received 232 votes, has school resuming on Aug. 5 for an abbreviated day. The last day of school is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2015, also an abbreviated day.