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St. Landry Parish back to school plan

First day of school is September 8
Posted at 8:40 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-08 17:29:42-04

Public school students in St. Landry Parish will be learning online for the foreseeable future.

Members approved a motion to start school virtually on August 20, 2020, but has since pushed the date back to September 8, 2020.

Jamal Taylor, president of the St. Landry Parish Association of Educators, tells KATC that he believes school board members "stood up in a very powerful way."

"Today we rose above petty partisan politics. Our union organized and because we organized we won."

By a unanimous vote, the school board decided that K-12 students in St. Landry will go back to school virtually for the foreseeable future.

Teachers are calling the major decision about the upcoming school year a win. Arguments from concerned teachers and parents played a vital role in the decision, which does come with challenges.

"It does my heart some good that our school board members partnered with our union to make sure that lives mattered more than liability and that people mattered more than politics, said Jamal Taylor, president of the St. Landry Parish Association of Educators.

Superintendent Patrick Jenkins acknowledges it won't be without challenges.

"We expect 3,500 computers to be available by the end of this month. We're hoping that the remainder will be available. One of the things that we've done is to survey parents to determine who needs a device," said Jenkins.

The board plans to meet again to determine when the parish will move to hybrid learning, but no date has been set. Taylor hoped the board uses guidance from medical experts.

"Anthony Fauci said that the virus decides. We need to continue to look at these numbers and make a determination based on the numbers and not the convenience of the politicians," said Taylor.

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