Ascension Parish public schoolchildren will switch to working from home for the next month in the wake of the statewide school closure order issued Friday afternoon by Gov. John Bel Edwards to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
In an email sent to parents, Ascensions School Superintendent David Alexander said the school district will send out instructions for children in third to 12th grade on how they will have students connect with teachers and complete assignments. Children in preschool to second grade are receiving printed packets when they head home Friday afternoon “with instructions to complete at home.”
Schools are closing. Gatherings of more than 250 people are banned. The presidential primary election is delayed for two months.
“We want to assure our students, parents, employees and the community that we have been preparing for this possibility and will implement plans to ensure continuity of learning,” Alexander wrote.
The governor’s order closes all public schools in the state through April 13.
Students in fifth to 12th grade in Ascension Parish have district-provided laptops and other computing devices that they are bringing home when school lets out Friday afternoon.
“If a child was absent today, we will develop a way to distribute either a computing device or a printed packet to them next week,” Alexander said.
And for students who lack Internet access at home, “we are working on alternate plans to engage them in instruction,” Alexander said.
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A special page has been set up on the district website, www.apsb.org/COVID-19, containing resources and instructions for learning.
School employees will receive separate communications from their “immediate supervisors” later Friday on their work obligations over the next month, Alexander said.
Ascension Parish has about 23,400 students in 29 public schools.