OPELOUSAS, La. — The St. Landry Parish School Board spent a little over six hours in a special meeting on Tuesday for its committee meetings to discuss reopening plan ahead of the school year.
During the Academic Committee portion of the meeting, held exclusively on video conference, board members discussed the St. Landry Parish School Board Strong Start Plan for 2020-2021.
Earlier this month, school board members approved a motion to start school virtually on Aug. 20, which will start with Phase 1.
Superintending Patrick Jenkins said during the meeting that the board did not have all of the answers yet, but they were working on them.
Jenkins also said there is a possibility that schools could be going back and forth between the three phases as the school year progresses.
It is unclear how the board will proceed as of Tuesday night, as board members announced during the meeting that, shortly before the meeting began, they were informed that expected Chromebooks will not arrive on time for the proposed start date.
Several parents spoke their concerns, ranging from how all virtual classes would work efficiently to health concerns for their children.
A number of teachers also spoke, along with the president of the St. Landry Parish Association of Educators, on how they have health concerns of their own and would strongly support 100% virtual classes. Some speakers, on the other hand, wondered why St. Landry was the only parish in the area to approve going fully virtual.
Delaying the start date to after Labor Day was also discussed. Superintendent Pat Jenkins and many board members expressed that they believe the board is not prepared to begin the school year at this point.
"We've got some heavy lifting to do, board," Jenkins said as he proposed the board adjourn for the night and return with fresh minds.
Phase 1 is an all Virtual Learning Model with a max group size of 10.
The model includes synchronous and asynchronous learning that will occur daily. Synchronous learning includes whole group real-time interactive instruction. Asynchronous learning includes independent learning, assignments and projects that are an integral part of the lesson cycle.
Instructional delivery in Phase I takes place live through Google Meet or a similar platform where the teacher of record provides instruction. Students complete lessons and work as assigned in Google Classroom.
Phase 2 of the board's plan includes in-person learning for Grades K - 4 and a hybrid learning model for Grades 5 - 12, with a max group size of 25 including adults.
For students in Grades K - 4, teachers will follow a traditional instructional format. For those in Grades 5 - 12, teachers deliver instruction two days per week in person to the cohort of students on campus following all safety and health guidance and protocols. Cohort A reports to campus on Monday and Tuesday, while Cohort B reports to campus on Thursday and Friday.
Phase 3 is a full in-person model with a max group size of 50. Teachers deliver instruction in person following all safety and health guidance and protocols.
The board will hold a second special meeting to discuss the reopening soon.
You can read the full SLPSB Strong Start Plan below.
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