Ascension Parish Schools providing mid-summer update

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Ascension Public Schools: No health screenings and face coverings are optional

GONZALES, La. (BRPROUD) – Schools open in Ascension Parish is on Thursday, August 5 and classes start on Tuesday, August 10.

In preparation for schools opening, the Superintendent of Ascension Public Schools sent a letter out titled “Mid-Summer Information.”

A copy of that letter can be found below:

DEAR ASCENSION PUBLIC SCHOOLS FAMILIES,

We hope this message finds you all having a great summer filled with the adventures and family time that you have been looking forward to. July marks an unofficial halfway point of our summer break, and we want to share a bit of mid-summer information with you.

We completed our summer enrichment sessions today and are very grateful for the hard work of all those students that participated. And of course, none of this would have been possible without the commitment from our outstanding teachers, support staff, and school leaders who worked to create quality experiences for students during the month of June.

Last week, the Louisiana Department of Education released initial recommendations regarding safe operations of schools for the 2021-22 school year. As we all learned last year, recommendations and guidelines can change as things evolve, but for now, we will consider the recommendations found in this document as a resource when making preliminary plans for operating schools this upcoming school year. As mentioned in the LDOE document, we continue to expect cases of COVID in our community as well as in our schools. As we were able to do last year, we believe we can prevent schools from becoming sources of infectious spreads by being mindful of personal monitoring of symptoms, personal hygiene, distancing to the greatest extent possible, and proper daily facility sanitization and cleaning.

The following list contains some items of interest:

  • There will be no initial health screenings required at school. Screenings (temperature and symptom checks) should take place at home. It will be very important for students and adults to monitor their own symptoms and stay home when there are signs of any illness.
  • Face coverings will not be prohibited but are now optional, as was the case during summer enrichment. We encourage individuals to consult with their personal health care providers for guidance on the necessity of wearing a face covering.
  • Group sizes are no longer prescribed in terms of a number, but consideration of maximizing distancing is still recommended.
  • Partitions are not required to separate groups indoors, which will make it more convenient to use large spaces such as gyms and cafeterias.
  • Personal hygiene is essential to minimizing the spread of germs. Therefore, frequent hand washing and sanitizing will continue to be encouraged. Schools will be provided supplies to ensure personal hygiene can remain a priority for all students and adults.
  • It is recommended that students bring a reusable bottle to school and utilize on-campus bottle fillers as water fountains will remain closed.
  • A response to confirmed positive cases within a school or school-related activity will include contact tracing and quarantining. More guidance regarding contact tracing and quarantining will be forthcoming.

For those who are not comfortable with in-person learning, we will continue to offer virtual learning via our Blended Learning Program (BLP) through APPLe Digital Academy. This is our online learning program that has been offered since 2013. For more information or to register for BLP, please contact your school directly. School employees are available to help you complete the process.

We hope everyone enjoys the upcoming July 4th weekend. Our schools and district offices will be closed July 2 – 6, 2021, in observance of Independence Day. Summer operations will resume on July 7th. We wish you and your families a safe holiday and the second half of summer break. We look forward to connecting with you again closer to the start of school!

Respectfully,

David Alexander
Superintendent
Ascension Public Schools

A copy of the 2021-2022 Ascension Parish School Calendar can be found here.

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