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Livingston Parish superintendent praises families for sending children to first day of class

2 years 9 months 4 weeks ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 August 07, 2020 12:17 PM August 07, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

LIVINGSTON PARISH - On the morning of Friday, August 7th Livingston Parish students are officially saying goodbye to summer vacation and beginning a school year unlike any they've previously experienced.

This isn't the first time families in Livingston Parish have proved their resilience when facing difficult circumstances. 

In 2016, a devastating flood left multiple homes and schools with severe damage, but the community and its students rallied quickly, establishing make-shift classrooms for students and working hard to ensure these young learners wouldn't miss out on their education.

Now that parents, school officials, and students face the threat of novel coronavirus, the community is once again working together to provide school-aged children with the opportunity to learn.

Livingston Parish Schools Superintendent Joe Murphy spoke of the resilience of the community, saying, "What we found out in 2016 were a couple of things. We found out that this community is one of the most resilient communities we've ever seen in our lives. We had 19 schools flood, we were back in school in 20 days. And what we learned in 2016 is that every time we have a challenge like this, it's not just the school system, it's every person who lives in Livingston Parish."

Livingston Parish parents were offered a choice, to send their children for in-person classes or to keep their children home to utilize eLearning platforms.

Most families are sending their children to in-person classes, and those who do so are adapting to the current protocol that splits students in third grade and up into two groups. Each of these two groups will attend in-person classes in a staggered fashion, meaning these students will go to school two to three days out of the week and stay home the remaining weekdays to utilize online classrooms. 

For example, students in Group A might attend classes on Monday and Tuesday while students in Group B might attend classes on Thursday and Friday.

Officials feel this will keep the students with the group they're assigned, thereby limiting building occupancy to 50% in accordance with governmental health guidelines.

Younger Livingston students in second grade and below, however, will attend in-person classes five days a week.

During an interview with WBRZ's Nadeen Abusada, Superintendent Murphy praised the more than 90% of parents who chose to send their students to in-person classes in Livingston Parish schools.

He also reassured the 7% of families who decided virtual learning was better for their children, saying these students would still be offered the best education possible. 

Murphy also reiterated that a plan is in place detailing what officials will do when a student or faculty/staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

That protocol is detailed HERE


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