St. Helena Parish among first schools to welcome students back; finalizing plans for COVID

When students in St. Helena Parish return to class on Monday, August 2, they will find not much has changed.
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When students return to class on Monday, August 2, they will find not much has changed.

The district, which is among the first in the state to welcome students back, is keeping most of the policies in place it had when students left for the summer. The main difference is that masks will no longer be required.

“As soon as the kids are coming, we are making sure, we are informing them to go ahead and wipe your desk and use the mask, and use the sanitizer,” said Bernard McPherson, Principal of St. Helena’s Art and Technology Academy.

McPherson said extra staff is also being hired to help disinfect the schools. At the Early Education Center, students will largely eat lunch in the classrooms.

McPherson said faculty and staff have studied what worked best during the last school year and have adapted to make sure students are safe when they return.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to really take last year to reflect on the positives, to reflect on the things we need to improve quite rapidly to make sure we have a good ebb and flow of what could arise,” he said.

“Regarding health issues, we don’t know,” said 10th and 11th-grade science teacher Sunitha Shyamala. “I mean if one child gets sick we can all get sick. do I don’t want the disease to be transmitted to all the kids.”

McPherson said he is confident the policies in place will protect students, and ensure they are able to stay in the classroom the entire year.

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