The Calcasieu Parish School Board announced significant proposed changes to its 2020-2021 Return to School Plan on Tuesday. Following recent announcements from the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and Gov. John Bel Edwards' extension of Phase 2, the new plans include an alternating day schedule for seventh through 12th grade students and a delayed start to the school year of Aug. 24 instead of Aug. 14.
Students in pre-k through sixth grade will continue to follow the district's plans released earlier in the month. They still have the option to attend school face-to-face five days a week or enroll in a fully virtual option.
Seventh through 12th grade students, however, will only attend face-to-face two days a week and will complete virtual assignments on the remaining days.
Students with last names beginning with A-K will attend on Mondays and Wednesdays. Students with last names beginning with L-Z will attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
"Arrangements will be made to ensure students in the same household are placed on the same schedule, even if those students have different last names," the modified plan states.
Some special education students in seventh though 12th grade will report to campus four days a week, the plan states, depending on their individualized educational plans.
"This change will provide a better opportunity for social distancing to be maintained during transitions and in classrooms," the plan states. "It will also provide more efficient transportation schedules for families under the current Phase 2 guidelines which limit school bus capacity to 50 percent."
The new start date of Aug. 24 was selected to "hopefully provide an opportunity for the number of positive COVID-19 cases to improve." The additional time will also be utilized to adjust school and families' schedules as well as to ensure that all students are equipped with a device and internet to begin the district's virtual learning program, CPSB Connected Classrooms.
The deadline to enroll or withdraw from the virtual program is July 24. In light of the modified start date, the two-week grace period to transition back to a face-to-face instructional platform ends Friday, Sept. 4.
The modified plans will be presented before the school board for final approval at a special called meeting on July 30. Visit www.cpsb.org/coronavirus for additional details regarding the 2020-2021 school year.