LAFAYETTE, La. — The Lafayette Parish School System announced Tuesday that it would be moving its schools to all virtual instruction for all students on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 21-22, ahead of the regularly scheduled Christmas break.
That break is scheduled for Dec. 23, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021, with students set to return to class on Jan. 4, 2021.
According to a release from LPSS, the move back to virtual is only for these two days to test its system planning and is not due to significant changes in COVID-19 cases in LPSS schools.
LPSS says it is a unique opportunity for schools to enact the plans which have been developed in order to be better prepared should a full-time switch to virtual learning eventually become necessary.
The announcement came only minutes after parents starting lining up to pick up their kids from school. Many parents concerned how they will juggle working while their child stays home.
"I'm not sure how it's going to work yet, because we are a two parent working household" Amanda Fuselier said.
"It's ok for me, because I have a flexible schedule, and so does my husband. So we can care for our kids," explained Jaime Breaux. "I'm just concerned for those who don't. Were fortunate that we can."
LPSS says this practice run gives stakeholders a few days to prepare for this transition wherein a real-world situation the decision to shift to virtual learning can happen at any time and within a matter of hours.
For most elementary students it will be the first time they will learn virtually. Hannah Welsh, a parent picking up her children at Myrtle Place Elementary, said she had some experience at the beginning of the pandemic.
"It was very hard, I got everything off of their computer, and made them do it on a piece of paper. Then if they had to submit it, it was already in front of them," Welsh said.
All students in grades PreK-12 already have devices for learning, and this will be a great opportunity for students to engage in virtual or digital instruction for two days, the release states. Virtual or distance learning may be recorded lessons, videos, live ZOOM sessions or office hours, or independent learning through a digital platform.
LPSS says that additional details will be coming from each school and that all work for these two days will be required.
Students must log on, as attendance is mandatory, and work can be used as a grade, the release states. All employees will report to their assigned work location. Grab-and-Go meals will be available for pickup.
According to LPSS, after the winter break on Jan. 4, 2021, schools will return to its learning formats of hybrid instruction for middle and high school students and face-to-face instruction for elementary school students.
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