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Caddo announces phased transition to more in-person instruction

Local

Following guidance from health officials, middle and high schools will survey families before moving to a modified traditional model

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Caddo schools have announced plans to transition to a more traditional in-person instructional model for middle and high school grade levels starting Oct. 5.

The school district made the announcement Tuesday morning, citing a declining trend in COVID-19 cases in Caddo Parish. There were 34 new cases confirmed in the parish on Tuesday for a total of 8,312 since the outbreak began. 349 people in the parish have died from the coronavirus to-date.

The parish has averaged 42 new cases daily over the past two weeks and according to the latest data available from the LDH, the percent positivity of tests in Caddo Parish remained flat 6.50% since the beginning of September.

The following statement details the transition plan released by Caddo Parish Public Schools.

Using a phased-in approach, Caddo’s middle school students will transition first with high school students following suit on Oct. 19. The staggered timeline also provides Caddo leadership time to ensure all safety protocols are in place and can be adequately maintained with larger student populations on campus each day.

“Throughout this time of working through our new normal, it has been essential for our district to focus first and foremost on what the science says is taking place with the virus specific to Caddo Parish,” Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools. “We are entering this new phase of district operations working with our school leaders to determine what is best for students as well as staff and to develop strategies that address those needs.”

Among those needs, Dr. Goree stated it has been imperative in all of the district’s plans to provide parents with a choice as to how their child would attend school.

“We know every child is different and every family is different,” Dr. Goree said. “With that in mind, we must remain cognizant that just as there are families that believe all children should be in school every day there are others who are uncomfortable with any in-person instruction until there is a vaccine available. Our charge as a school system is to provide a quality education to all families we serve that is directly informed by our medical community and what is safest for students and staff.”

Middle school families will receive a survey on Wednesday which will allow each family to decide between traditional and in-person instruction. The survey will run through Friday. Using families’ selection, schools will then spend next week developing schedules and procedures to adhere to all safety guidelines.

Middle schoolers will then begin in the revised instructional model on Oct. 5. In-person instruction will be provided Monday through Thursday each week with all students attending instruction virtually on Fridays.

High school families will receive their survey on Oct. 5 to be completed by Oct. 7. Once data from the survey is compiled, high schools will then review all scheduling and cleaning protocols and make necessary modifications to support student learning. High school students will begin in-person instruction on Oct. 19 and will follow the same modified traditional model as their high school counterparts with Monday through Thursday in-person instruction and all students receiving instruction virtually on Fridays.

With approximately 40 percent of students attending school virtually in Caddo Parish – some of the highest rates in Louisiana – the district’s instructional models continue to provide virtual options for all families. The model provides an opportunity for students to receive well-developed, curriculum-aligned lessons in addition to teachers offering prescriptive student supports on Fridays to allow for one-on-one time for remediation and acceleration based on student need.

“The result of our extensive work with the Louisiana Department of Health, our principals and the Louisiana Department of Education is a plan which focuses on safety, quality academics and teacher effectiveness,” Dr. Goree said. “I am thankful to everyone who came together to make such a plan a reality. We are committed to excellence in education and providing quality instruction in the safest manner.”

Caddo Parish Public Schools

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