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BPSB Reveals Parent Survey Results, Preliminary Look at 2020-21 School Year
Posted 7/8/20

 

BPSB logoJuly 8, 2020 

 

Dear Bossier Schools families, 

 

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for participating in the parent survey to better assist Bossier Schools as plans are made for the 2020-21 school year. Your voices are important because they give us a better understanding of your family’s needs and concerns, and help us make informed decisions as we move forward. 

While we had all hoped to have COVID-19 in our rearview mirror at the start of the new school year, that is simply not the case and the district is faced with making challenging decisions amid an ever-changing global pandemic. It will not be as easy as pushing the reset button, but let us assure you Bossier Schools is committed to the work ahead. Our main goal is to get children back in school, while making their re-entry as safe as possible. We also realize there is no one-size-fits-all approach.   

With that said, we want to share with you the results of the parent survey. A total of 8,550 responses were received, representing 12,500 students, and reflected nearly equal input among all grade bands. Complete results can be viewed here. Key takeaways from the survey indicate the following: 

  • The vast majority (68%) of parents currently plan to have their children return to school in August, while 28% remain undecided. 

  • Most (55%) prefer daily face-to-face instruction, with hybrid and virtual options being respondents’ second and third choices, respectively. 

  • A simple majority (51%) indicated being either very comfortable or comfortable with requiring masks for students and employees.  

  • Parents are in favor of daily temperature checks, increased cleaning of “high touch” surfaces, broad availability of hand sanitizer and requiring that parents keep sick students at home. 

 

Bossier Schools is listening and shares your belief that instruction is best delivered in a daily classroom setting, yet much depends on the phase Louisiana is in when school begins August 12. Our state is currently in Phase 2, which places 50-percent limitations on group sizes and school bus capacity, and even when the state moves to Phase 3, there is a 75-percent limit. 

We recognize child care is a real concern among many parents with younger students. While it will be a challenge, Bossier Schools is working within guidelines from the Louisiana Department of Education and Louisiana Department of Health to provide daily face-to-face instruction for PreK-5th grades. 

While everything about the “normal” elementary school routine will look different, we feel it can be achieved through static grouping, social distancing, altering breakfast/lunch schedules and staggering class rotations to the maximum extent possible. Bossier Schools cannot do this alone, though, and will need our community’s help throughout Phases 2 and 3. We will have to lean heavily on parents who are able to provide transportation for their children, both to and from school, at least until the state emerges out of Phase 3. This will help create room for those students in need of bus transportation.  

An A/B schedule will be implemented for grades 6-12 if the state remains in Phase 2 at the start of school. Students will be divided into groups that will receive face-to-face instruction one day and virtual learning at home the next. The only exception is Plain Dealing High School, where all students in PreK-12th will attend school daily for face to face instruction. 

Once Louisiana enters Phase 3, all students will return to school for daily instruction. Again, parents’ assistance is needed to provide transportation for their child, if possible, throughout both Phases 2 and 3. 

Of course, Bossier Schools recognizes not all parents feel comfortable with their children returning to the classroom environment at this time and remote learning options will be offered at all grade levels. Applications to attend Bossier Schools’ Virtual Learning Academy will be available after students have registered at their zoned school. Student registration is July 31-August 7. 

It is our desire to communicate to parents how best to prepare for what currently lies ahead and the district will release its fully detailed Bossier Strong Start reopening plan the week of July 20. It is important to note as the coronavirus crisis continues to be a fluid situation, state guidance that school districts must follow can also change, and so may Bossier Schools’ plans as August draws closer. A helpful resource is Strong Start 2020, which includes guidelines and best practices for school districts, released by the Louisiana Department of Education. It is available here.   

Please know we appreciate your partnership, support and patience and we will keep you updated as Bossier Schools receives more definitive information. We are Bossier Strong and will continue to work through this together.