BPSB delays beginning of school year

1007
Lauren McCarty 2nd grade science and social studies teacher at Kerr Elementary gets ready for the 2020-21 school year.

The Bossier Parish School Board met in a special session Tuesday afternoon and approved a delayed start for the 2020-21 school year.

Bossier Parish Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey presented a request for the revision of the 2020-2021 school year calendar to the Bossier Parish School Board for approval.

“At this time we would like to request that the board consider delaying the start of school from the original dates which were August 10 for employees and August 12 for students to August 14 for employees and August 20 for students. That will allow 2 additional professional development days for our employees. There’s also been a survey that resulted in 78% of our employees requesting this delay which will also get us closer to Phase 3 hopefully and allow us some more time in planning transportation and some master schedules at different locations based on some requests that have been made by students and parents,” said Downey.

District 3 School Board member, Tammy Smith, asked Superintendent Downey, “How would those days be utilized as far as in servicing for the teachers? Will that be done at their local site? Can you give us a picture of what that will look like?” 

“We originally had two days of professional development prior to students returning. This will give us a total of four, which will be two more, that will allow us to provide more training in and the procedures and transitions that will take place adhering to the LDH and CDC guidelines along with preparation for the virtual delivery that our teachers will be asked to provide for students who’ve chosen that as an option. More professional development with Google  Classroom and some of the other platforms and ability to download even more lessons from those sites that are accessible for students. And like I said hopefully provide a little bit more of a cushion to allow that state to get to Phase 3, which will also allow for some more flex abilities for transportation,” answered Downey.

The Bossier Parish School board then voted and unanimously approved the revision of the 2020-2021 school year calendar.

Here are key takeaways from the newly adopted 2020-21 academic calendar: 

● August 14 – First day for teachers 

● August 20 – First day for students in grades 1st-5th 

● August 20 – First day for 6th-12th grades in Group ‘A’ (last names starting with A-K) 

● August 21 – First day for students in grades 6-12 in Group ‘B’ (last names starting with L-Z) 

● August 27 – First full day for Kindergarten 

● September 3 – First full day for Pre-K 

● No holidays would be impacted, with the exception that students would return from Christmas break Monday, January 4, 2021 

● The first semester would end on January 15 

● Students’ and teachers’ last day would be May 27