/script>
By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

The Trousdale County School Board voted last Thursday night to set the start of the 2019-20 school year on Thursday, Aug. 1.

Board members voted 4-0 to go with the first of two proposed calendars, setting the first day of school in August rather than on July 25, as would have been the case in the second proposal. Board member Denice Jackson was absent from last Thursday’s meeting.

Courtesy of Board of Education

Teachers had voted for the July start by a narrow 51-49 percent margin, but all three principals had stated their support for the July start, according to Director of Schools Clint Satterfield.

“Mrs. Dickerson (high school) said, ‘My students don’t do well starting that early,’ Mr. McCall (middle school) said, ‘We do not need a week off at Thanksgiving,’ and Mrs. Badru (elementary school) said, ‘I need the extra week because of construction,’ ” Satterfield told board members.

Board member Johnny Kerr said he had also talked with assistant principals, who preferred the August start as well.

Fall break for the 2019-20 school year will run from Oct. 21-25, with Thanksgiving break from Nov. 27-29 and the fall semester ending on Dec. 17. The spring semester will begin on Jan. 7, 2020, with spring break from March 23-27 and graduation on May 22.

Satterfield also announced that the state comptroller’s office had no findings in its audit of the Trousdale school system for the eighth year in a row.

Additionally, the school system has received a Read to Be Ready grant for the third year in a row. Trousdale County will be able to send 42 children to a month-long summer camp focused on literacy next summer.

“We had 35 last year, and we’re going to run that in June,” Satterfield said. He did note that because of planned painting and other work at the elementary school, the program would move to Jim Satterfield Middle School next summer.

Read to be Ready is a coordinated campaign launched by Gov. Bill Haslam, First Lady Crissy Haslam, and Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen in February 2016 with the goal to increase third-grade reading proficiency in Tennessee to 75 percent by 2025 through a variety of initiatives.

Satterfield also said that report cards would go out on Jan. 8, after students have returned to school.

February’s scheduled board meeting has been moved to Feb. 14 to allow board members to discuss bids for work to be done at the elementary school, including replacing doors and windows.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com. Contributing: Staff reports