Dear Parents and Families,
I am writing to share some important updates about the 2020-2021 school year. Given the continued COVID-19 global pandemic, DeSoto Parish Schools is making preparations to keep our students, staff, and families as safe as possible.
School Reopening - Blended Learning - A/B Schedule
The 2020-21 school year will officially begin for students on Wednesday, August 5th. You can find a detailed breakdown of the first few weeks of school at DeSoto Parish Back to School. The return to school schedule will include a blended learning start with all students on an A/B schedule from Aug. 5 - Aug 14 (and perhaps longer if the state does not move into Phase 3). Students will be assigned to attend school in person 2 days per week while engaging in remote learning from home 3 days per week. Students will receive their assigned (A/B) day of attendance from their school in the coming weeks.
We know that this is a big change, and it is an important one. It provides time for custodians to deep clean and sanitize classrooms and for teachers to engage in planning, team collaboration, and professional learning once per week. We recognize the need for child care on days when students are not physically in school and will be working with local community-based organizations, child care, and faith-based entities to support you.
With the likelihood of COVID-19 lingering in our community for some time, we must be able to quickly pivot between in-person and distance learning based on the rate of spread of the infection in our community throughout the year.
We will make decisions about possible shifts between in-person and remote learning based on guidance from the Office of Public Health and the Louisiana Department of Education. We will continue to release updated information regarding the start of school over the next several weeks. You will receive details through email, text message, and on our DeSoto Parish Schools Website.
Virtual Only “Choice” Option
We know that some families may not feel comfortable sending or be able to send their children back to school in-person, so we will offer a full-time virtual option starting in 2020-2021. Students who enroll in the Virtual Only option will continue to be students in their current schools, with their assigned classroom teacher, but will complete their studies virtually. If the Virtual Only “Choice” option is chosen, students will have the opportunity to return to in-person learning after 9 weeks. To access the Virtual Only “Choice” Option application go to https://forms.gle/KG9VdrfAh5u2pUqK8.
Health and Safety
Nothing is more important than keeping our students, staff, and families safe, and you will see some new safety measures in the 2020-2021 school year.
- Face covering: All staff and students (3rd grade and above) will be required to wear face coverings in all areas of the school when recommended social distancing can not be achieved. Areas of particular use for face coverings will include: during arrival, dismissal and any other transition within the school building. For guidelines on the style and type of permissible face coverings please go to Back to School 2020-2021 under Frequently Asked Questions. We will update often.
- Symptom Monitoring: All students and staff will be assessed on arrival and throughout the day, including an initial temperature check.
- Social distancing: We will be prepared to reconfigure spaces and classrooms to maintain social distancing practices to the maximum extent possible. We are working to create plans for social distancing during arrival and dismissal times.
- Cleaning and sanitizing: We will have additional cleaning procedures and supplies in place that will include additional hand-sanitation stations on all buses and throughout our buildings.
Our team is working tirelessly to prepare our schools to safely welcome your children back to school. We are moving quickly, and there are many actions happening this summer. We want to keep you up to date!
For Students’ Sake,
Clay J. Corley