Back To School, Except For One
CHATTANOOGA, TN – (WDEF) – The start of a new school year is here. As the kids are back “at it!”
Doing all of the things that kids do while in the classroom! Everybody is “doing their thing,” except Murray County.
Because Murray County has yet to start.
At Murray County High School in Chatsworth, it’s, well, quiet.
Other than volleyball practice, it’s very quiet.
A few teachers are on the scene, prepping for the upcoming school year. Yes, the key word: upcoming.
Fact of the matter is, things are very quiet here at North Murray High School as well.
And there’s a reason for that. For Murray County is the only school system in our viewing region that starts school after Labor Day.
The only one.
In simple terms, most school systems operate on the 180 day calendar.
For the 12th year in a row, Murray County operates on the 160 day calendar. Murray County asked for, and received a waiver from the state of Georgia at the time.
Back in 2010, our country was still dealing with a recession. Money was tight.
So Murray County administrators had to be creative.
STEVE LOUGHRIDGE, MURRAY COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT;
“It was done for financial reasons. We had to reduce our budget. So we had to look at things from that perspective. So it was financial.”
Murray County has three high schools, two middle schools and six elementary schools. And yes, the days are longer for everybody.
The Murray County school days are roughly 30-45 minutes longer than the other school systems.
Starting around 7:30 AM. Ending around 3:15 PM.
That easily makes up for the 20 day difference in the more common calendar schedule.
STEVE LOUGHRIDGE, SUPERINTENDENT;
“The community has been very supportive. Everybody seems to love the idea.”
Murray County is one of the COVID-19 hot spots in Georgia. Loughridge says, as it turns out, going back to school later then everybody else could turn out to be a very good thing.
Loughridge says the 160 day calendar schedule might not work for everybody.
But he says HIS school system has to do what it has to do.
First day is September 7th.