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Vernon Parish School Board explains their plan for the upcoming school year

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 8:47 PM CDT
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VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB) - Students in Vernon Parish will be allowed back in the classroom this coming school year. On July 14, the Vernon Parish School Board (VPSB) issued a press release saying students will return to school in August for face-to-face classes.

"All of this comes after considering what can do to make sure everyone will be safe," James Williams, the superintendent of the Vernon Parish School Board, said.

Students in PK-8th grade will attend classes five days a week.

"We have taken the most extra measures that you can imagine," Danielle Nash, a third-grade teacher at West Leesville Elementary School, said. "We made sure we've spread our desk [apart], we got them all facing the same direction so the classroom environment will be safe for their return."

Students' temperatures will be taken before entering the building, and masks will be required for students in the third-grade and up.

"We are all going to try and abide by that to keep everyone safe and healthy," Karen Robertson, the principal at West Leesville Elementary, said.

If a student gets sick while at school that student will be isolated immediately and sent home.

"We have a nurse on campus that will watch out for them and make sure they are okay," Robertson said. "Then, once they have a doctor's release, they will be allowed to come back to school."

Attendance for high school will be a different story. Students will go to class two days out of the week, and the other three days will be online.

"The biggest shift is the technological presentation we are going to have this year," Kristen Bruce, a high school teacher at Pickering High School, said. "We've been working very hard this summer on Google certified."

VPSB has more than 230 teachers Google certified.

"When we are people under hardship, that's when innovation happens," Jerome Henson, the principal at Pickering High School, said. "So, whenever our students come to class, they are going to have a Chromebook in front of them. The teachers most importantly are going to be trained very well to deliver their instruction through video Chromebook, and then also face to face when kids are in class."

The district says they will provide Chromebooks and tablets for students who need them, and they will also accommodate students without an internet connection.

"We are going to take the E-rate funding and put outdoor access points at our schools," Bill Lohman, the technology administrator for Vernon Parish said. "So, at the minimum students will be able to pull up outside of their school if it is not their day to be there. They will be able to download their lessons, and they will be able to work in an offline mode on their Chromebook.

This is VPSB’s plan while the state is still in Phase II of reopening. If the state moves into Phase III, things will almost look like they are back to normal. However, if the state regresses to Phase I, every student will participate in online learning.

Elementary students will go back to school on Aug. 10. Middle school students will go back on the 11th that Tuesday, along with half of the high school students. Then the other half of the high school students will go back to school Wednesday on the 12th.

Any further questions should be answered in this link.

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