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Avoyelles Parish finalizing plan for upcoming school year

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 5:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2020 at 8:45 PM CDT
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From the Avoyelles Parish School Board:

(7/13/2020) - The Avoyelles Parish School Board is offering a 100% Virtual Learning Option for the 2020-21 school year. Parents who choose to register their children for the Virtual Learning option that is being provided for the 2020-2021 school year, MUST register for the program between Monday, July 20th through Tuesday, July 28th. Parents/Guardians will register their children for virtual learning at their child’s zoned school. (Please note all campuses are closed on July 24th and July 27th.)

Registrants that are new to the Avoyelles Parish School system who want to take advantage of the virtual learning option may register on these dates as well. You will need to provide proof of residence, birth certificate, shot record, and social security card for the child being registered.

When choosing a virtual option, your child will remain a virtual student for a minimum of nine weeks. Parents will be able to opt-in at the beginning of each nine weeks for virtual school for the following nine weeks timeframe. A draft copy of the APSB Online Learning Procedures is posted on the Avoyelles Parish School Board Website as well as the Facebook page.

For more information, please contact your child’s zoned school.

AVOYELLES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Avoyelles Parish School Superintendent, Blaine Dauzat said, “The main message I’ve tried to put out from the start is that this is not going to be like any other year.”

The upcoming school year will certainly look different in Avoyelles Parish. Students will have the option to either attend class in person or learn virtually. The school board put out a Facebook survey that nearly 3000 people filled out, and it was an even split showing that parents still are not comfortable sending their kids to school.

“I will tell you that we believe nothing is as good as in-person instruction with a teacher in front of your child, but the parent makes that call. But yes, we are making virtual learning 100 percent available to all of our kids.”

Dauzat

One of the concerns with virtual learning is the lack of strong internet access throughout Avoyelles Parish.

“Our biggest fear here is that Avoyelles Parish is well known to have some of the worst internet coverage not only in Louisiana but in the country. We are concerned with that. Access points we think will help. It’s not the end-all-be-all.”

Dauzat

Avoyelles Parish will have 61 of these access points to help with internet problems. These access points will be mounted onto places such as churches, government buildings, and schools within the parish. They will then connect to the school board’s WiFi where they will send out a signal that goes out around 600 yards. This is for the kids at home who do not have WiFi access that can go to these places in the parking lot and still learn virtually.

Avoyelles Parish ordered 5,000 Chromebooks for the students to check out if they choose to learn virtually. Now, if a student who is taking classes in person gets sick, they will be able to receive one of these devices within 24 hours to transition to virtual learning.

Currently, it is recommended by the Department of Education and the Health Department for students in the third grade and up to wear masks. However, B.E.S.E. will be meeting next week to discuss possibly adopting those guidelines, which would turn them into policies requiring those students and staff to wear masks.

The school year is currently scheduled to start on August 5. However, the school board committee is meeting on July 20 to discuss the option of pushing the start of the school year back three weeks.

Copyright 2020 KALB and APSB. All rights reserved.

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