The Colonial Beach School Board named their new board member at their January meeting. Terri McClure was selected to fill the position vacated by Tim Trivett as he moved on to the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors.

McClure ran for School Board in 2018 but lost to Tara Seeber. She will join the board in February.

The board also named their new chairperson Michelle Payne for 2020. Patrice Lyburn takes over the vice-chair position as well.

The biggest issue facing the school depends on the Virginia General Assembly and Governor Northam’s decisions on whether to allow schools to go back to class earlier. In 2019 it was approved for school divisions to go back up to two weeks prior to Labor Day.

In 2020, the GA and Governor’s offices are looking to possibly allow schools to set their own start date.

With that in mind the Colonial Beach School Board is looking at three different start dates, August 10, August 24 or September 8.

The earliest start date, August 10, would allow high school students to finish the first semester, and Standards of Learning testing, prior to the winter break. The other two dates do not.

Students are getting out of school this year a bit early in anticipation of a possible earlier start date.

If the students go back on the 10th graduation would be on May 22, 2021 putting graduation weeks earlier. The later dates push graduation back.

With the after Labor Day start graduation will be pushed back to June 19.

Many of the schools in the Northern Neck are looking at earlier start dates including the Northern Neck Regional Vocational Center. Colonial Beach High School sports season starts in August with football tryouts starting early.

The school is filled with early season athletes during the month of August.

While the 2020 summer would be shorter for students subsequent summers would be full-length.

Once the decision is made at the state level the school districts will be able to work together to coordinate their start dates and allow Vocational and Technical Students to start together as well as Governor’s School students.

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