NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Federation of Teachers says teachers and parents believe it’s too soon to open classroom doors.
It conducted a survey of 15,000 teachers, staff, and parents across the state. Results showed that in Region 1, which includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes, more than half of families had a household member at increased risk to coronavirus.
About 70 percent of those polled say they are not comfortable sending their kids to school.
“I think right now we’re not ready to be back in the school buildings,” said Heather Cushman, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. “People in Region 1, which includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes were the least likely to support schools opening right now, which isn’t surprising given how the virus has spread throughout this area.”
The state has outlined a phased approach to reopening and issued baseline safety requirements, but a lot of responsibility falls on school systems.
In addition to deciding whether schools will be held in-person, fully virtual, or a blend of both this fall semester, schools are also tasked with giving teachers enough protective equipment and implementing policies that protect students and staff.
“BESE set the minimum standards for things such as face coverings, group size, transportation size, hand washing, social distancing, a number of things. But beyond that, local school systems have to go in and adopt their own policies that reflect the state policies,” said Dr. Cade Brumley, Louisiana State Superintendent.
The state has also asked all school systems to prepare a fully online option, but Jefferson and Orleans Parish School systems haven’t said if teachers will be in the classroom in less than one month.
The Louisiana Federation of Teachers is asking districts to wait to implement in-person classes until coronavirus cases have leveled off for two weeks.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize just how much prep work teachers usually do before the school year starts. They’re buying supplies, they’re making lesson plans.. they’ve been planning, really, all summer in preparation for schools to return,” said Cushman. “And this year, they haven’t been able to do that, because they don’t know if they’ll be teaching from their kitchen or from their classrooms.”
For the complete results of the survey click below.
RELATED: Third day of +2K new COVID-19 cases reported across state, now 86,000 cases since start of outbreak
► Get breaking news from your neighborhood delivered directly to you by downloading the FREE WWL-TV News app now in the IOS App Store or Google Play.