Calcasieu School Board changes school plans

By Holly Holland, Calcasieu Parish School Board

Following last week’s Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting, additional regulations and mandates were shared for school districts to follow for the 2020-2021 school year.

With these additional regulations and with anticipation of the Governor’s message on Friday, July 24, we want to notify our families that we may be implementing some changes in our Return to School Plan.

Because COVID-19 numbers remain high and we anticipate staying in the current phase, we will have two main modifications to our current Return to School plan:

Modification 1

Students in Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade will follow the plan that we currently have outlined with fulltime face-to-face instruction. Students in 7th-12th grade will be placed on an alternating day (blue/gold) schedule and only report in a face-to-face setting two days a week. Students will receive schoolwork to complete, most likely virtually, on days they do not report to campus.

Students with last names beginning with letters A-K will attend Mondays and Wednesdays (Blue Days).

Students with last names beginning with letters L-Z will attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Gold Days).

Arrangements will be made to ensure students in the same household are placed on the same schedule, even if those students have different last names.

Depending on IEP accommodations, some of our Special Education students in 7th-12th grade will report to campus for face-to-face instruction Monday through Thursday.

This change will provide a better opportunity for social distancing to be maintained during transitions and in classrooms. It will also provide more efficient transportation schedules for families under the current Phase 2 guidelines which limit school bus capacity to 50%.

Modification 2

The start of the 2020-2021 school year will be delayed. We are planning to start school for students on Monday, Aug. 24 now, instead of Aug. 14. This new start state will hopefully provide an opportunity for the number of positive COVID-19 cases to improve. It will also give our staff additional time to ensure scheduling arrangements are in place, as well as time to ensure all students in need of a device and/or internet are able to obtain that. This will also give our families additional time to make necessary plans due to these changes.

All other items outlined in our original plan including feeding, transportation, ehanced safety measures and more will all remain the same. All IEPs will be honored for students. CPSB Connected Classrooms will still be available as it is now and the grace period for changes now ends Friday, Sept. 4.

We understand these modifications may change a decision a family has already made. If you previously registered for CPSB Connected Classrooms and want to withdraw that application, click here. If you wish to enroll in CPSB Connected Classrooms after seeing these modifications, applications can be found here. The deadline to enroll in CPSB Connected Classrooms has been extended to Friday, July 24, and withdrawal requests must also be completed by that date.

This entire plan with additional details is subject to approval by Calcasieu Parish School Board on July 30. The agenda and plan will be available for public viewing prior to that meeting. Members of the public are welcome to attend the Board Meeting to share public comments.

As we’ve all experienced, change during this COVID-19 Pandemic is inevitable. We appreciate your patience and understanding as our staff works through these circumstances. Our Frequently Asked Questions document is updated often for all stakeholders. We feel these modifications will better serve all stakeholders, including both employees and students. We can assure families that our entire staff is working to ensure the safety of all faculty, staff and students while also ensuring our students receive quality instruction during the 2020-21 school year.