CUMBERLAND — Allegany County teachers will go back to school on Aug. 17, a day earlier than previously planned, to accommodate a shift in primary election dates.

Students will start school with a half-day on Aug. 24, according to the 2011-2012 school calendar approved Tuesday night by the Allegany County Board of Education.

The calendar includes several adjustments, including a modified Easter break. This year’s break is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 2, with students returning to school on Monday, April 9.

Other calendar changes are because of recent legislative action that changed Maryland’s Primary Election date from Feb. 14 to April 3. Schools and offices will be closed on April 3 instead of Feb. 14.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

• Approved a low bid of $665,000 from Hite Associates of Cumberland to complete Phase I of the roof replacement at Fort Hill High School. Two other contractors submitted bids for the project, which includes the replacement of $43,000 square feet of roofing, and the installation of new insulation and metal trim. Other bids came from Tri-State Roofing & Sheet Metal of Ridgeley, W.Va. ($1,378,650) and Warren-Ehret Co., of Baltimore ($692,890).

• Approved a bid of $278,600 from Harbel Inc., of Cumberland, to replace the playground at Westernport Elementary School. The project includes removal of existing equipment, installation of a gravel base, asphalt paving, playground equipment and modular fall protection. Harbel was the only contractor to submit a bid.

• Approved a budget amendment to transfer $1 million from the general fund into the capital projects fund, as the system prepares for the renovation or rebuilding of Allegany High School. The source of the funds is the result of about 11 locally funded positions that were not filled during fiscal year 2011, and from savings at administrative and mid-level administrative levels.

The school system made a similar transfer of $1 million last year, and some of that money has been spent on consultant and feasibility study expenses.

• Approved a special education staffing plan for 2011-2012 that includes local and restricted funding for 86.8 teachers and 98 instructional assistants. The FY 2012 budget includes $17.1 million for special education, up from $15.9 million last year.

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