Middle and high school students in Vermilion Parish will return to hybrid learning over the next several weeks, Superintendent Tommy Byler announced in a video message on Facebook Wednesday evening.
The hybrid learning period will only be for a short time, with the revised schedule beginning on Monday, November 30 and lasting through Christmas, the end of the first semester. Byler said the board and officials will evaluate at the beginning of the second semester, and will be working over the next three weeks to put various measures in place.
For the first two weeks, middle and high school students will follow an ABAB schedule (Monday - A day, Tuesday - B day, etc.). Friday of the first week, which will be December 4, will be full distance learning for all students. However, Byler said, because some students may have fallen behind in virtual learning or because of quarantine, individual schools will be alerting which students need to report to campus that Friday for catching up.
Middle and high schools will be sending out A day and B day reminders over the weekend, Byler said.
For the third week, the board is exploring the possibility of a full virtual week. Byler said because the system has not done full virtual learning since the pandemic began, the week would be a test run to prepare in case any guidelines change after the new year. Byler explained students would receive laptops where necessary, and teachers would likely give lessons over Zoom or Google Meet. The school board will provide updates on this third week as more decisions are made.
In terms of elementary school students, not much will change over the next three weeks. Byler added that the majority of COVID-19 outbreaks have been in the higher grades, with the system having to quarantine "well over 400 students" in the last two weeks." Elementary schools will see an increase in static groups and extra precautions, but no major changes to schedule or learning method.
Byler said that while there's no certainty as to what the COVID-19 numbers will look like over the next three weeks, the system wants to be proactive and make sure its doing the best it can for the second half of the school year to be face-to-face. He added that Vermilion Parish has one of the lowest amounts of positive cases, but said they are on the rise, so the system wants to do its part to get all students back in school as soon as possible.
You can watch Byler's full message below:
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