Bossier Schools to start year Aug. 12

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Downey unveils reopening plan Monday

Bossier Parish Schools’ Superintendent Mitch Downey, announced details at a news conference on Monday on how the district will move forward with reopening for the 2020-21 school year.

The first day of school for Bossier Parish students is August 12, under a plan titled ‘Bossier STRONG Start 2020’.

Daily face-to-face learning will remain in place for all Pre-K students to fifth grade.
A hybrid model will be in place for students sixth grade-high school seniors.

“Along with face-to-face instruction, static grouping, physical distancing, masks for grades 3-12 are required, daily temperature checks, hand hygiene, staggered transitions, altered breakfast with some grab-and-go models, principals in our of our schools have evaluated each and every transition and applied the Louisiana Department of Health guidelines for what that transition should look like. So, there will be no facet of the day where these guidelines are not applied and they’ve done so throughout the district,” said Downey.

Downey went on to state the A/B schedule for students. The A/B schedule for students will be broken down by the students’ last name, with A-K on the A schedule in school on Mondays and Wednesdays and L-Z on the B schedule Tuesdays and Thursdays and each schedule will alternate Fridays.

Siblings in the same household with different last names will attend based on the last name of the oldest child, and other issues arising from this method of scheduling will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

The school district’s Virtual Learning Academy has also been expanded. It was already an option for students in middle and high school. Now, it will be available to all grades K-12.

Downey stated that the district used CARES Act money to purchase Chromebooks, MiFi and other technology to supply students who identified earlier in the year as having connectivity issues with the technology.

Plain Dealing K-12 will be in daily attendance because of the small school population.

“We tried to consider the fact that childcare is a very difficult hurdle for our community and in order to provide parents an opportunity to get back to work fully, we felt a great need to at least have K-5 face-to-face daily. Our next goal would be to provide K-6 face-to-face daily to address the need for childcare, but as far as the individual circumstances with each family, we want to rely on our principals to address those specifically, because there are a lot of different scenarios and needs out there and our principals are best-suited to provide some answers and guidance to those individuals,” said Downey.

Downey also stated that when the state enters Phase III, all students can return to campus.