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The Blaine County School District Board of Trustees voted Thursday night to push the first day of school for students back to Sept. 8, roughly three weeks later than originally scheduled.

The board also voted to establish a committee that will vet the district’s plan for school reentry in the weeks leading up to the first day of school, and to form another committee that will explore options for creating an online learning program. The vetting committee, proposed by Trustee Lara Stone during Thursday’s special meeting, will include school administrators and teachers; the online learning committee will be headed by Trustee Dan Turner.

The district’s draft reentry plan includes three potential scenarios for the 2020-21 school year: one in which in-person learning resumes as usual with social distancing in place; one in which in-person learning takes place but is staggered so that not all students are in school at the same time; and one in which all learning takes place from home.

District leadership won’t make a final decision about which model to follow until two weeks before the start of the school year. The decision will be made with the input and approval of the South Central Public Health District.

Teachers will return to school Aug. 26. Principals and secretaries will return this coming Monday.

The board also voted Thursday night to allow “a cautious practice schedule” for athletics to proceed Aug. 10, with social distancing guidelines established by the district’s athletic director in place.

The trustees will hold another special meeting next Thursday, July 30.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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