Following extensive public engagement and feedback, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System today released a 2020-2021 Reopening Blueprint that details three learning models students and families may encounter throughout the school year, as the parish and the state navigate the evolving public health crisis and the corresponding phased plans for recovery.
The blueprint, which was presented to the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board at its regular meeting on Thursday night, states the school system will begin the 2020-2021 school year on-time August 6, 2020, and offer students and families two options:
- A hybrid learning model that provides face-to-face instruction two days each week to start and expands over time, focusing on expanding face-to-face time for the youngest grades first; and
- An all-virtual learning model that facilitates learning remotely through each student’s school of record.
Students opting to return through the hybrid model will return to schools for a full-day orientation, by alphabet groups, on August 6th and 7th. Starting on August 10th, students will begin the full hybrid schedules in grades PreK-12, attending as part of set alphabet groups. A-K will attend on Mondays and Tuesdays, and will learn virtually Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. L-Z will attend in person on Thursdays and Fridays, and will learn virtually Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. All students will learn virtually on Wednesdays while schools undergo extensive cleaning.
“As we navigate these uncertain and unprecedented times, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System will continue to prioritize safety and high-quality teaching and learning,” said Leslie M. Brown, who will take the helm as the school system’s superintendent on August 3. “We stand committed to monitoring the ongoing public health crisis; adhering to the latest national, state and local guidance; and making adjustments to our approach as needed. We will do so arm-in-arm with our school families and the community.”
Following the closure of school facilities for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System collaborated with a diverse group of stakeholders to adapt its plans for the 2020-2021 school year to meet new operational and academic demands.
Through meetings of a COVID-19 Task Force and numerous public surveys, the 2020-2021 Reopening Blueprint was developed. It is guided by three core principles: equity, safety, and communication. Among the highlights:
- Students participating in the hybrid learning model will engage in face-to-face instruction two days each week. Students will be divided into two groups according to the first letter of their last name. Schools will work to ensure siblings and members of the same household, regardless of last name, can engage in face-to-face instruction on the same days.
- Students selecting to participate in the 100% virtual model will need to complete the Virtual Selection Registration through this portal.
- Educators supporting our low-incident, self-contained special population classes at school sites will provide face-to-face instruction on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. These low incidence, self-contained classrooms include; Autistic students, severely-profound, hearing impaired, emotionally disturbed, community-based and developmentally delayed students. Teachers will provide virtual support on Wednesdays while the schools undergo a deep cleaning. When applicable, students will receive a personalized virtual learning plan outlining content lessons, ancillary support and other specialized support, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.
- EBRPSS Employees with children attending an EBR school may send their child to the student’s school of record on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
- Rigorous health and safety protocols will be implemented, per national and state guidance. Among the new measures, schools and buses will be cleaned with enhanced sanitation procedures; students and staff will follow state mask guidelines; handwashing will occur throughout the day; students will be spaced on buses; temperature checks will be performed in the morning and any sick children will be safely isolated and sent home.
- All students will have access to technology. By the end of August, every student will be equipped with the proper technology to facilitate virtual learning, making EBR Schools a 1:1 technology district for grades PreK-12. Technical support will be available for students, families, and educators. Click here for more information.
As Louisiana works to curb the spread of COVID-19 and advance through the phases of the recovery plan, the types of learning models will shift. As the school system adapts its plans, it will provide routine, clear updates to stakeholders. After the second full week of school, the district will use all information and guidance available to determine when more students can return to school sites in-person during the school week. The priority for returning students to a more regular school schedule will begin with students in grades PreK-2. The district will simultaneously monitor additional opportunities for expanded face-to-face instructional time for all other grade levels and grade bands. To find the latest information, visit the COVID-19 page of the school system website.