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First day of school extended to Aug. 20; Duval HomeRoom registration extended to July 31

July 23, 2020 - The Duval County School Board approved moving the first day of school to Aug. 20. Delaying the school start date provides the district with additional time to prepare buildings and classrooms to mitigate against spread of COVID-19 and for teachers to prepare for the learning options available to students.

Under the new schedule, teachers will report for planning Aug. 12 During the extended planning time, teachers will have access to professional development for online learning and COVID-19 safety protocols. 

“We have approximately 7,000 teachers and classrooms to prepare for instruction in this new environment,” Dr. Greene said. “We will take the extra time to prepare, and when Aug. 20 arrives, we will endeavor to provide the high level of instructional excellence families should expect in every attendance option we offer.”

Under the new recommendations, students at all grade levels have options to choose attendance at the school building or learning at home through online instruction. 

At-School and Hybrid Bridge Option

The at-school options are different depending on grade level.

Elementary school students will have the option of returning to the school building five days a week beginning Aug. 20, the new first day of school. 

Middle school and high school students will begin on a hybrid “bridge” schedule, meaning they will attend school part of the week and learn from home on the other days. This hybrid model would be in place until Sept. 14 when all secondary students are expected to return to a five day a week schedule.

“The hybrid bridge schedule reduces the number of people in the building and improves the capability for social distancing,” said Dr. Greene. “The target date to return to five days at school, Sept. 14, enables us to evaluate how pandemic conditions change with the reopening of school and the upcoming political convention.”

Under the hybrid bridge model, sixth grade students will be in the school four days a week. Seventh and eighth grade students will be in the school three days a week, and high school students will  be in their schools two days each week when the school year begins.

Online Options

In addition to the at-school learning options, all kindergarten through grade 12 students have the option for full-time distance learning through Duval HomeRoom. The deadline for registration into this option is has been extended to July 31.  Families can also choose full virtual education through Duval Virtual Instruction Academy.  There are also in-school and at-home learning options for students with exceptionalities. The details of all options are available on the district’s back-to-school website.