Lancaster County schools have their new start date. Here’s what’s on the calendar.

Lancaster County schools have their new start date. Here’s what’s on the calendar.
Lancaster County Schools (Source: Rock HIll Herald)

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (Rock Hill Herald) - The Lancaster County School District is the latest to set its new start date -- again.

On Tuesday morning the school board there approved a 2020-21 school calendar. The approved version sets a start date of Aug. 31. School will end June 17, 2021.

The new calendar is one of many in the area. Schools in York, Lancaster and Chester counties had their 2020-21 calendars set by this past winter. Then COVID-19 came and sent school virtual for the final quarter of this past school year. Initially it looked like some districts would start a week earlier this fall — Lancaster County approved a calendar with an earlier start — before Gov. Henry McMaster called for districts to start Sept. 8.

School districts statewide had to submit plans to the state education department detailing how and when students would attend in-person or virtually this fall, how buses would operate, and other details specific to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Clover School District was one of the first six in South Carolina to have its return-to-school plan approved.

In a July 15 video message, Lancaster County schools superintendent Jonathan Phipps said he intended to ask the school board for the Sept. 8 start and to petition the state for a hybrid education model combining in-person and virtual learning.

“It may or may not be approved,” Phipps said in the video, “but we’re going to do what is right to keep our students safe.”

Unless start dates change again, they will vary in the area. Clover went with Aug. 24. Fort Mill went with Aug. 31. Rock Hill has Sept. 8 on its calendar.

The new calendar in Lancaster County has teachers starting a week ahead of students. There are nine teacher work days or professional development days during the school year. Winter holiday begins Dec. 23 and runs through Jan. 1. First semester ends Jan. 15.

Spring break is now April 5-9. Graduation is June 10-11.