Face-to-face learning making gradual return to local schools
The move into Phase 3 of the state reopening after the COVID-19 lockdowns in spring has led the Iberville Parish School System to begin the steps toward predominate face-to-face learning.
The process will include an end to hybrid learning, which split the school week between face-to-face and at-home learning.
The gradual return to face-to-face has already begun, but Superintendent Arthur Joffrion emphasized that it’s too early for the school system to let its guard down.
“Phase 3 is a time when we continue to use all the mitigation protocol that we put in place successfully since the start of the school year,” he said. “All of those focuses remain in place, including sanitation, handwashing, crowd limitation and face masks.”
As part of Phase 3, buses can be filled to 75 percent of capacity and can have 50 people in room regardless of size, but schools will still not allow large-group assemblies or field trips.
The protocol continues as all seventh- and eighth-grade students returned to face-to-face learning Monday. It resumed for all who opted to return, while others could remain in classes through the Iberville Virtual Learning Academy.
The seventh- and eighth-graders returned to full-time campus learning after spending the start of the school year in the hybrid model that put students in classrooms two days a week and three days in virtual format.
All students will be in face-to-face instruction unless they choose to remain in remote learning or as part of the Iberville Virtual Learning Academy.
High school students will move into face-to-face instruction Oct. 7 after the end of the fall break.
The ninth- and 10th-graders will attend on Oct. 7, while 11th- and 12th-graders will attend on Oct. 8. Grades 9-12 will all go into face-to-face learning Oct. 9.
Remote learning will remain an option until the school system phases it out in December. In remote learning, students have been able to log into the classroom and engage in instruction with teachers.
The remote will remain optional for students who may be homebound because of medical reasons.
“Remote instruction really helps continue engagement for students who otherwise could not come to school for medical reasons,” Joffrion said.
The Iberville Virtual Learning Academy will remain in operation. Students who opt for five days of virtual instruction can transition to the IVLA.
“We do see a large transition of students coming back to the face-to-face model and leaving the remote format,” Joffrion said.
Approximately 190 students remain enrolled in IVLA. The total has remained steady since its inception.
The school system has offered flexibility to allow students to come back to face to face model, Joffrion said.
“We know that some students can learn virtually very successfully, and so we will keep the Iberville Virtual Learning Academy and remote learning through the end of the calendar year because we want to ensure that people feel comfortable,” he said. “We’ve been transparent with numbers. Each Friday, we provide updated list of numbers of employees who tested positive, as well as students who hve tested positive, and we share where the individual was exposed. We wanted to provide those numbers so if people were making decision on returning, they wouldn’t have to search or call anybody … the data would be there.”
The weekly data goes back to the week of Aug. 17. The data can be found on the School Board’s website at www.ipsb.net.
Also, a video on the Iberville Parish School Board website includes a comprehensive list of mitigation procedures, along with a chart on all of those procedures.