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Some groups pleased by decision to push back start of school

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Posted at 8:01 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 21:24:48-04

Educators in Lafayette Parish now have more time to prepare for school amid a pandemic.

Teachers and parents learned last night that the start of school had been pushed back to September 8.

The decision was not made during Tuesday night's school board meeting but announced later in the evening by Superintendent Irma Trosclair.

"I have, of course, that authority to make decisions through this pandemic," said Trosclair. "I certainly touched base with individual board members just to let them know what we felt as a staff needed to happen."

The school system's decision came as good news to the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators (LPAE).

"It was something that our membership felt very strongly about and that we have been advocating for, so we're happy with that decision," said LPAE President Julia Reed. "It's going to give teachers and schools and the district more time to plan and implement the plan we do make, so that we can have a safe return to school when we come back."

Some parents, although pleased with the change, say they want more transparency from administrators and are worried the Labor Day holiday may be problematic.

"Having it immediately after Labor Day, I personally believe that we're going to see some cases, and you're either going to have classrooms quarantining, whole schools quarantining, or possibly a whole district quarantining," said Azadeh Yazdi, a parent of a LPSS student.

School officials say they understand there's a learning curve when reopening amid a pandemic and that they will continue to monitor the situation.

"It could absolutely change on any given day," said the superintendent. "We've mentioned that to our parents to make sure they have contingency plans [regarding shutdowns and virtual options.] It's a very fluid every evolving situation."