JEFFERSON — Due to current discussions at the state level over school calendars, the Ashe County Board of Education approved two separate 2019-20 calendars at its June 3 meeting. Depending on the decisions by the state, the board will decide which calendar to follow at a later date.

The two calendars are similar, with one allowing Ashe County schools to begin school two school days earlier. If chosen, this calendar will see students begin classes Thursday, Aug. 15. Some differences between this calendar and the other one approved include: the first grading period ending Oct. 17; an early release or half day Oct. 24; an optional work day Oct. 25; optional work days Jan. 2-3, 2020; an early release or half day Feb. 14, 2020; the third grading period ending March 13, 2020; an optional work day March 20, 2020; and optional work days June 2-3, 2020.

The second calendar shows students beginning school Monday, Aug. 19. Differences include: the first grading period ending Oct. 21; an early release or half day Oct. 29; a required work day Jan. 2, 2020; a required work day Feb. 14, 2020; the third grading period ending March 6, 2020; an early release or half day March 13, 2020; an optional work day March 16, 2020; and optional work days June 1-5, 2020.

Both calendars show spring break spanning April 10-19, including weekends.

In the past, Superintendent Phyllis Yates has advocated for an earlier start date for students, due to winter weather often causing schedule-related headaches. Yates has spoken to both Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Blowing Rock) and Rep. Ray Russell (D-Boone) regarding the issue.

Ashe Post & Times will provide updates on school calendars as they become available.

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