What will school look like this fall?
St. Landry Parish public school leaders say their planning for the next school year may be a mix of virtual learning and traditional classes.
In a virtual meeting Thursday, Superintendent Patrick Jenkins said, “At this time LDE (Louisiana Department of Education) has not provided any guidance regarding fall education...”
Friday’s move to Phase 2 in the response to the coronavirus allows for facilities to operate at 50% of capacity, he noted.
Jenkins said he plans to create a task force to include School Board members, school staff and community members to develop a plan for reopening of schools that would includes all phases of response to the virus.
Schools closed in March to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and the school year ended with distance learning.
Angela Cassimere, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, said plans for the next school year will be based, in part, on information obtained from summer school.
Feedback will be sought from the staff about virtual learning, she said.
Cassimere said there are four models referenced for the planning the next school year: a traditional setting with students back in the classrooms; an online only method; a hybrid traditional and online program; and a plan to allow online and traditional methods to occur simultaneously.
Students may be scheduled to attend classes on different days and there may be students who cannot return to school at all because of health concerns, Jenkins said as a reason for developing a plan that includes traditional and virtual learning.
Jenkins said a starting date for the next school year has not been determined. The date will hinge on the state education department’s decision on testing.
About 13,000 students are enrolled in St. Landry Parish public schools.
Eunice Elementary, Eunice Junior High updates
Other business included an update by Claudia Blanchard, director of operations, on repairs at Eunice Elementary.
“We are making some positive progress...” she said.
The last of the metal of roofs on the buildings at the Eunice Elementary campus was to be installed by Friday. The installation will be fully complete, but was days away from being finished, she said.
The fourth metal roof, on a building at Eunice Junior High School, is to start this week, weather permitting. Trusses are to be put on the building and the project should take a few weeks.
At a building damaged by fire on the Eunice Elementary campus, Blanchard said painting is nearing completion. Four coats of paint have been applied in the building. A drop ceiling and new tile flooring is to be installed in the next two to three weeks, she said.
The School Board approved installing a new canopy at the Eunice Junior High School gym.
Blanchard said the canopy is leaking into a classroom and the sidewalk. The project is expected to cost no more than $62,500.
On Aug. 14, 2018, fire destroyed much of the interior of a classroom building at Eunice Elementary.
Temporary buildings were moved onto the campus to accommodate the students displaced by the fire.
On Dec. 27, 2018, the administration building flooded.
The administration building included office space, a library, computer lab, restrooms and a classroom used for music.