The decision by state officials to keep Louisiana K-12 public school campuses closed the remainder of the 2019-20 will prompt the Iberville Parish schools to change the playbook on implementation of the curriculum.
The move did not come as a surprise to Iberville Parish School Board Superintendent Arthur Joffrion, but the official word now prompts greater emphasis on the online education materials.
“We’re going to do a second round of computer pickup and we’re going to be trying to do that with an online platform and make resources available online rather than doing it paper-based,” he said Tuesday.
Schools have been the primary mechanism for communication with students on the curriculum-based issues with students and their parents, based on things specific to their campuses.
“We, on the district level, have taken the ownership as far as meals and meal services,” Joffrion said. “And then, of course, we release all of our information.”
School systems will average all eligible graduates’ grades for the first, second and third nine-week periods to obtain a fourth nine-weeks grade.
Any student who has not met the requirements to earn a Carnegie unit on a course required for graduation will be provide an opportunity to earn the course credit to graduate. Each school will contact parents and students who have not met will contact parents and students who have not met graduation requirements to discuss details following the scheduled spring break.
The LEAP 2025/EOC assessments and Industry Based Certification graduation requirements have been waived for the currently enrolled eligible graduates.
In order to earn college credit for the dual enrollment courses, students must complete all course work as required by the university.
According to ACT, all juniors and seniors who were scheduled to take the ACT on March 17 will have the opportunity to take their exam on June 2. The date is subject to change, depending on the COVID-19 situation and protocols at that time.
“At this point, our top priority is making sure that all of our students are given the best chance to complete their graduation requirements in the most efficient and effective manner possible,” Jofrrion said. “Our goal is to complete the school year and graduate without penalty.”
THE MISSING NINE WEEKS
The shutdown leaves plenty of unanswered questions on how to stay ahead of the curve.
School systems in Iberville and statewide must figure how they will account for nine weeks of missing instruction, Joffrion said.
Discussions have already begun, he said.
“We initiated conversations with staff on whether will do something before the start of school, or maybe to get kids in school sooner than August if we’re able to begin to reinforce skills they have potentially missed out on, or teach them skills they would’ve been taught,” Joffrion said. “We’re also discussing ways we can frontload some curriculum so we can get children the skills they need prior to the beginning of the school year.
“We could have rushed without K-11 guidance, but we chose to slow that down, sort of anticipating that this could potentially occur, so we will put out that guidance shortly,” he said. “Teachers have really adjusted to students through various mechanism, so we will put out that guidance shortly.”
Issues on the curriculum have forced the teachers and administrators to think outside the box, but a much bigger challenge looms for administrators, instructors and students.
A MUCH BIGGER TASK
The emotional aspect – and its abrupt nature – poses a much bigger task, Joffrion said.
“There is definitely an emotional component to this, especially from the school-based personnel,” he said. “They didn’t have the time to really do an appropriate “goodbye” that teachers do.
“There’s always an effort to send students off for the summer in a meaningful way, and the students were told on a Friday “no more school,” Joffrion said. “A lot of teachers still had hope we’d be able to come back, but even if it hadn’t been a lot of time, they have time not only to teach, but to also have that emotional connection – and that is far more powerful.”