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Gardner pushes back first day of school due to technical issues

Two supply chain issues are slowing down the opening of four Gardner public schools.

Gardner High School, pictured here, now starts classes Sept. 6. Gardner Public Schools

Students at Gardner Public Schools will start classes later than usual due to supply chain problems impacting construction of the new Gardner Elementary School, officials announced Monday.

Gardner Elementary’s first day is pushed back two weeks to Sept. 12, while Gardner Middle School, Gardner High School, and Gardner Academy are delayed one week to Sept. 6, according to a statement from Superintendent Mark Pellegrino. 

Pellegrino pinpointed two technical issues slowing down Gardner Elementary’s opening. A shipment of supplies for a new elevator was delayed, he wrote. The school also received an incomplete order of electrical panel boards and cannot adequately power the building. 

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“We’ve been getting orders saying that it’s going to be shipped in May and then June and then July and then August,” Mark Hawke, director of finance and operations for Gardner Public Schools, told WCVB. “So now it’s in process. We’re hoping that it’s actually in process and being shipped here now.”

Due to the delays, Gardner Elementary School is now facing noncompliance with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s requirement of 180 school days. The district is working to get a waiver for the missed days from the state so students do not have to make up the extra class time.

Pellegrino apologized for the “significant inconvenience” and advised parents and guardians to contact their child’s school with concerns. 

Read the full announcement here.

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