All Polk County Schools will open for students a week later than previously planned in order to provide more time for schools to prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.

The change means that Polk County Early College will hold its first day of classes on August 13, with all other schools opening on August 24.

The district will not add days to the end of the school year, simply returning to a traditional 180-day calendar.

“We feel the extra week is needed for a variety of reasons, one of the most important being to be certain we have time to meet with families and make sure they have time to digest the added protocols and procedures related to health and safety as well as delivering instruction face-to-face and remotely,” said Superintendent Aaron Greene.

“We want to be certain we have things in place and that families have time to feel comfortable with what we will be doing.”

Faculty members will still report for work on August 12, with new staff orientation remaining August 10.