Ephrata High School Commencement_ 05.JPG

Ephrata Area School District Superintendent Brian Troop addresses the Class of 2018 during Ephrata High School's commencement Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at War Memorial Field in Ephrata.

Ephrata Area School District has delayed the first day of school by one week as it prepares to reopen, Superintendent Brian Troop said in an email to families Thursday afternoon.

The school district, which plans to bring back students full-time for in-person instruction, with the exception of students whose families opt into the district's online program or a blended model, was slated to start classes Aug. 24. 

"We are continuing to work to prepare for the variety of instructional modes created to keep students and staff safe, reengage all students in structural learning, and be responsive to the need for choice," Troop said in the email.

Moving the first day to Aug. 31 allows the district to ensure every classroom is setup for social distancing, test new technologies, train faculty and staff, among other objectives, Troop said. 

"We recognize that this may cause some hardship with family schedules," Troop said, "but (we) felt the critical nature of the work needed to provide a safe and successful opening in these unprecedented times deserves an additional week of consideration and care."

Ephrata Area's last day of school remains June 4, as the Pennsylvania Department of Education allowed the district to make a change without extending the school year, Troop said.

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