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Some Acadiana school districts looking at 3 options for returning to school

Some Acadiana school districts looking at 3 options for returning to school
Posted at 6:23 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 19:23:45-04

EVANGELINE PARISH — School districts across Acadiana are sharing plans for what classes will look like for the upcoming school year. Right now, they're considering several possibilities.

1) All students return back to campus, but with some safety practices.

2) All virtual classes.

3) A combination of both in-person classes and online classes. It's a way to safely balance classroom interaction during the pandemic.

Evangeline Parish is already using their virtual program and testing out how it will work in the fall.
The program has been around for the last few years. However, with the pandemic school officials expect more students to enroll. Brooklyn Blood is a graduate of the virtual academy. She says her experience has gone well.

"Very easy, " Blood said. "If people struggle with a teacher who might teach too fast,this is an advantage for you. You can stop things whenever you want. You can do things at your own pace."

She's one of 4 students to graduate from the program this year. While it's nothing new for her to learn from home, it could be the norm for other students.

The program is offered to all students and the district believes more students will take advantage of the opportunity.

"We know in this district with Covid, a lot of parents will be uncomfortable sending children back to school," Assistant Superintendent Michael Lombas said. "We feel the virtual platform is an option parents will take advantage of and we want to give them that option."

Program administrator Steven Manuel added, "We're kind of doing a piloted summer school for students who may have started certain classes before the pandemic. Those students may have not been able to finish those classes. I set up a zoom meeting from 7 to 4. They can get on anytime to ask questions about work. We have a math teacher there also. If they have questions she can do a break out session with them."

For now the district is relying on guidance from the Governor's office on how they can reopen. They're also relying on grants to help them provide tools needed if all classes become virtual.

"We began the process long before we knew about a pandemic," Superintendent Darwan Lazard said about the virtual option. "Where we would have a one to one ratio in Evangeline Parish. 83 percent of our students have a device. The other 17 percent we're looking to close that gap with help from the federal government, state government and school board."

The senate education committee will discuss plans for reopening schools in the fall. State superintendent Cade Brumley and health secretary Courtney Phillips will present information to senators.

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