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Rome City Schools delays start of 2020-2021 school year

July 9, 2020–7:16 p.m.


During a called meeting Thursday evening, the Rome City Board of Education approved a delay in the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

The year was set to begin on August 3, now it will be August 13.

Superintendent Louis Byars said the delay will give the school system time to have everything in place and will give teachers the opportunity to get prepared.

“We are already working on the schools,” he said.  “We are already replacing water fountains with water-filling stations, we are already putting the cameras in, and we have the supplies on order for most of the things that we will need to for cleaning, checking temperatures on the bus and masks.  However, I think we need these extra days.”

Teachers are still scheduled to return for pre-planning on July 22.

Another change to the calendar is the start time for high school.

Classes will start at 8:45 a.m. instead of 8:30.

“One of the things I am requiring our transportation department to do, and it’s a state recommendation, is to sanitize the school bus after every load,” Byars said.  “In order to do that, the way we sanitize it takes 15 minutes.  Well, that’s 15 minutes between elementary schools and the high school and we are already tight on time.”

Byars added that students and staff will be required to wear face coverings except when they are not needed when social distancing is possible.

Below is a letter from the superintendent:


Good evening RCS family,

I know this has been an eventful year and we are dealing with something that is unprecedented.

I want to thank each of you for being flexible as we transitioned last year from in-school to flexible learning.  This upcoming year will be full of challenges for everyone, from students to teachers and parents. Your efforts and understanding are deeply appreciated.

As we continue to prioritize the safety and health of our students and staff, Rome City Schools will delay the start of school for students. Please note the following date change as it applies to the return of school.

The first day of school will be August 13, 2020. Depending on the latest COVID-19 data, a determination will be made later as to whether we begin on-site or with flexible learning for students. The RCS Virtual Academy will begin on this date regardless of the status of COVID-19.

In response to the bus transportation and sanitation process, start and end times of school will be altered. Times adjustments are as follows:

Elementary School

-Doors open:  7:15 a.m.

-Breakfast begins:  7:15 a.m.

-Students’ instructional day: 7:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Middle School

-Doors open: 8:00 a.m.

-Breakfast begins: 8:00 a.m.

-Students’ instructional day: 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

High School

-Doors open: 7:30 a.m.

-Breakfast begins: 7:45 a.m.

-Students’ instructional day: 8:45 a.m. -3:45 p.m.

The date change allows more time to plan and prepare for the safe return of students.

The following link will provide additional details regarding the return to school plan for 2020-2021 and includes the application for our Virtual Learning Academy:

Thank you,

Louis Byars


Rome City Schools