What will next school year look like as COVID-19 pandemic continues?

School officials weighing options for 2020-21 school year

(WAFB) - With the coronavirus pandemic still very much a reality, a lot of parents are wondering what that will mean for their kids when they head back to school in the fall.

“So we are still in the planning process,” said Arthur Joffrion, superintendent of Iberville Parish Schools.

Joffrion and his staff have kicked things into high gear for the upcoming school year. He has already created a commission with 60 or more employees from various departments and schools to discuss how to tackle the 2020-21 school year.

What will back to school look like.
What will back to school look like. (Source: WAFB)

“From technology, the budget, health and safety, human resources, sports, and extracurricular, food service, campus protocols, family support, and most important, instructional delivery,” said Joffrion.

For those parents who aren’t ready to send their children back into the classroom over fears of the virus, there’s an option for them.

“To meet that need, we are going to provide a full virtual option for students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, and we actually do have a principal that will be running the program,” said Joffrion.

He does expect in-person classes to happen as well, but the school district is still waiting for more information from the governor’s office and the Louisiana Department of Education at this time.

“Of course we will be considering face coverings, social distancing, or static grouping in our early elementary grades, as well as health and hygiene and sanitation,” Joffrion explained.

Over in West Baton Rouge Parish, Superintendent Wes Watts says they’re looking at multiple options at this point.

“We honestly believe kids learn better when they’re on campus, but we know that there are some kids whose parents may have some underlying health conditions or some concerns, and we need to provide them with a quality education also,” said Watts.

He believes students will be in the classrooms, but here’s what they’re considering to keep children safe.

"Temperature checks, social distancing when we absolutely can, and then the sanitizer, the washing of the hands," said Watts.

They’re also encouraging parents to keep children at home if they’re sick.

The school district plans to make concrete decisions this summer.

“The logistical things we’ll have to work out depending on the phase we’ll be in, transportation, how many students can you put on a bus? When they get off a bus, how are we going to check temperatures? How are we going to provide hand sanitizer? I think we are working those things out and we’ll have all those things ready, but some of those details will still take time,” said Watts.

If your child goes to school in East Baton Rouge Parish, click this link here to fill out a survey about how you feel about your child returning to school.

For more information on Ascension Parish Schools, click here.

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