Lauderdale County school students won't be returning to the classroom until Aug. 17 to allow for greater preparation.

The schedule originally called for classes to begin Aug. 7.

School system officials said the district will offer traditional in-person education, as well as an online learning option.

Teachers will return to school Aug. 4 to prepare their classrooms and online course materials, and receive professional development training.

"We're hopeful that the additional days at the beginning of the school year will allow for more preparation by our teachers," said Willie Joiner, assistant superintendent of Instruction/Curriculum.

"Online learning will be available for students at all grade levels. It will be more challenging for primary grades, as secondary students and teachers have been using Chromebooks in a one-to-one initiative for several years."

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