Officials with the East Prairie R-2 School District have announced they will push back the start of school until next month. The start of the new school year was pushed back to September 8, 2020 because of the increase in cases in the area. Officials say pushing back the start of the school year will lessen possible exposure for both students and staff during the COVID 19 outbreak in the community. Officials also say pushing back the start of school until after Labor Day will allow district staff members to continue preparing for 100% virtual instruction if that is necessary in the weeks to come. If health and safety conditions get better over the next couple of weeks school will start on the same day with regular classroom instruction and virtual instruction for those students who have chosen that format, officials say.