Palm Beach County’s new back-to-school date is Aug. 31

WEST PALM BEACH — The 2020-21 school year will begin for students on Monday, Aug. 31, in Palm Beach County School District-operated schools. The School Board voted unanimously on July 22 to delay the start date by three weeks, allowing more time to prepare for the start of school, which will launch with distance learning.

The new start date gives educators additional time to prepare for teaching in an online platform, for the district to receive and distribute thousands of new laptops to students in need and to ensure better internet connectivity offered by business partners and municipalities throughout the county.

Board members also approved adding two additional preschool days for professional development for employees in the T-bargaining unit. That decision is pending final approval from the Classroom Teachers Association (CTA).

With the change in the calendar, most district employees will not experience a gap in pay. However, there will be a delay in paychecks for about 4,000 support staff employees (those who are not in the T-Bargaining Unit) within the following contracted duty day groups: 180 duty days; 182 duty days; 187 duty days; and 188 duty days.

Bus drivers, bus attendants, school food service workers, and paraprofessionals are among those in the group. While the first paycheck of the school year will be delayed, their salary is not affected by the change in the school year start date.

The district will also continue its summer Monday through Thursday work schedule for 12-month employees, through the week of Aug. 17. As such, Friday, Aug. 21 will be the last Friday off before those employees return to their regular five-day workweek.

Non-12-month employees who have already begun working will now have scheduled days off in August and should consult the employee calendar notes for additional details.

The Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks will remain as previously scheduled. First semester exams will be held after the winter break, with the first semester ending Jan. 29, 2021. The last day of school will be Friday, June 18, 2021.

The School District will now submit its Reopening Plan to the Florida Department of Education for its final approval.

For more information on the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year and to view the reopening plan, visit palmbeachschools.org/reopeningschools.

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