Special School District moves to 100 percent virtual instruction amid virus concerns
BATON ROUGE – A Friday (Jan. 29) morning news release from the Special School District informed the public of its decision to move to 100 percent virtual instruction for at least two weeks.
In the release, district superintendent, Ernest E. Garrett III explained how he came to this decision. Garrett said he has been closely monitoring COVID-19 health and safety concerns on the SSD campus after Student Health Center (SHC) advisors recently confirmed four positive cases.
These four cases resulted in 74 people going into quarantine and based on data, coupled with a consultation with an epidemiologist at the Louisiana Department of Health, Garrett decided that 100% virtual instruction would begin on Tuesday, January 26, to last for two weeks, possibly longer.
On Thursday, (Jan. 27), the SHC advised Superintendent Garrett of two additional positive cases, resulting in the quarantining of additional staff.
To ensure the safety of all employees, Garrett closed the campus, with the exception of essential personnel, effective at the end of the business day. Garrett expects the campus closure to last for the next two weeks to mitigate further spread.
During the closure, Garrett has stressed the importance of customer service. “Our scholars, families, stakeholders, and staff are our clients. We must work hard to ensure clear guidance and communication during this time. It is important that everyone understand the severity of this situation as well as continuing to work on solutions outlined by LDH. By working together, social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands regularly, we can mitigate this virus.”
The SSD provides instructional resources statewide, delivering services to scholars with lowincidence disabilities – two schools, the Louisiana School for the Deaf (LSD) and the Louisiana School for the Blind (LSVI) in Baton Rouge; instruction at 16 statewide residential facilities; assistive technology training for teachers and parents; and production and distribution of Braille and large print books for students throughout Louisiana.
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