(Livingston Parish News) – Twelve-month employees of the Livingston Parish Public Schools system will return to work at their assigned campuses as well as the central office beginning on Monday, May 4, according to Superintendent Joe Murphy.
The return to work will allow employees to begin a “phased-in work recovery” from the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has banned students from all schools statewide through the rest of the 2019-20 school year.
Murphy originally shut down operations at all LPPS campuses on March 22, a little more than a week after Gov. John Bel Edwards first shuttered schools statewide to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. At that time, no employees were allowed on campus “unless notified by the superintendent.”
In a statement released on Wednesday, Murphy said the decision to bring 12-month employees back to work was made in order to prepare for the summer and “whatever challenges remain ahead.”
“Given the critical juncture we are now facing, I believe it’s important that we reinstate our 12-month employees to begin moving forward with finalizing and implementing plans for this summer and into the fall to be adequately prepared for whatever challenges remain ahead,” Murphy said.
Returning employees will have an amended work schedule of 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. from Monday through Thursday. Though 12-month employees will be on campuses and administrative sites, the facilities will remain closed to the public, Murphy said.
The district is taking into consideration “the health and well-being of every employee,” the superintendent said in the statement, adding that the district will follow state and federal guidelines regarding social distancing, group size limitations, and health recommendations.
Additionally, all employees will be supplied with any needed personal protective equipment (PPE) items they need to perform their job duties and responsibilities.
Any 12-month employees who have existing health issues, may be exhibiting symptoms, or have other health-related concerns will be allowed to take leave beginning May 4, Murphy said.
In the press release, Murphy noted that the 2019-2020 school year will end on its regularly scheduled day of May 22. Teachers and school leaders are currently delivering educational instruction through a blended model of distance learning to the district’s 26,000 students.
Final report cards for grade levels will be sent out on June 2. Graduation ceremonies and other related activities have been postponed until at least the month of June, and possibly later.
Livingston Parish Public Schools will offer credit recovery opportunities through summer education, Murphy said. Virtual learning will be available for the various grade levels, and in some isolated cases, a limited number of students may receive in-person instruction at a campus location, pending state allowances.
Murphy said the district plans to hold possibly one or two summer sessions for high school credit recovery in grades 9-11, noting that the format may include one session in June and a second session in July or a single larger session that begins in mid-summer.
The district will begin taking applications for Pre-K and Kindergarten students on June 1. Applications may be accessed online and returned via email, and pending the state’s guidelines, they may be accessed at the child’s home-based school between June 1-5.
For more information, parents are encouraged to visit www.lpsb.org or https://lpearlychildhood.wixsite.com/lpearlychildhood for more information.
David Gray | The News