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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Hardin County Board of Education will consider a request to delay the first day of school to Aug. 24, potentially pushing the start of the 2020-21 school back by 18 days.

Hardin County Schools Superintendent Teresa Morgan will suggest the delay during the board's July 16 meeting, according to a news release from the school district. The district is scheduled to start the school year on Aug. 6.

"Those extra 18 days will be extremely beneficial," Morgan said in a statement.

"It is important that we give our staff as much time as possible to prepare to offer traditional classroom instruction and non-traditional instruction through virtual learning in our Hardin County Learning Academy. It also allows more time for our state officials to give us more direction in regard to COVID-19."

Like other school districts, HCS is developing reopening plans based on state public health guidance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced schools to close throughout Kentucky in March.

Districts will be expected to enforce social distancing, check students' temperatures before they enter school buildings, regularly sanitize buildings and more under that guidance. State officials have said masks are recommended for students but not required and urged districts not to punish students who refuse to wear face coverings.

If the new starting date is approved, the last day of school will be May 21. The proposed calendar does not eliminate fall break, winter break or spring break, according to the news release.

The first day for preschool students will also be delayed until Sept. 1 if the new calendar is approved, with those programs scheduled to end May 13.

"COVID-19 has changed a lot," Morgan said. "However, it has not changed our priorities of giving students a safe learning environment and the best education possible. We will continue to help HCS students succeed in every way imaginable."

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