BELLE CHASSE, La. — The Plaquemines Parish School District released their plans Monday night for the upcoming school year. All schools will offer the option of virtual learning or in class, traditional learning with the exception of Belle Chasse High School.
"The plan of today is to try to get as many children as we can in the brick and mortar schools safely," Superintendent Denis Rousselle said.
Plans as of now offer only virtual learning for 7-12 graders at Belle Chasse High for the first nine weeks. Because the school has 900 students, physical distancing would be a challenge.
"It really would and we looked at all kind of scenarios," Rousselle said.
Jaime Sauer has an 8th, 6th, and 3rd grader in Plaquemines Parish schools.
"I'm not going to lie, it's going to be a challenge for all families, but it's a challenge we're in together," Sauer said.
She received a survey Tuesday morning from the school district asking her to opt her two younger kids into traditional or virtual learning by this Friday.
"We probably won't turn in our survey until last minute because it's a really big decision," she said.
As for her 8th grader, she will have to participate in virtual learning.
"She was bummed," Sauer said.
Plaquemines Parish Schools sent a letter to Belle Chasse High School parents to let them know if Louisiana is in Phase 2 or 3, 7-12 graders will have online learning the first nine weeks of school. After, plans will be reevaluated. All teachers are being trained to use Google Classroom.
"The kids will have to complete assignments and they will be graded as if they were traditional assignments," Kenny Petkovich, Director of Secondary Education in Plaquemines said.
All other schools in part of Plaquemines Parish Schools will offer the option of traditional classes.
"We can open up those schools because of the population capacity of those schools," Rousselle said.
Belle Chasse High School will serve as a distance learning support center.
"It will be a resource school for people who need support with the learning distance and technology," Rousselle said.
"I'm just very grateful that at least Plaquemines Parish has a plan," Sauer said.
If the state happens to fall back into Phase 1 of reopening, all students in the Plaquemines Parish School District will have virtual learning.
Rousselle is eager to give Belle Chasse high school students the option of traditional schooling, so their plans may change.
The letter to parents explains the districts approach:
"Plaquemines Parish School District must adhere to the LDE and LDH guidelines as we plan our approach for opening schools this fall. For now, we would like to share some general parameters of our drafted plans for the next school year.
If Louisiana is in Phase 1, all Plaquemines Parish students will be participating in an online/ virtual learning due to the maximum group restrictions in the school buildings.
If Louisiana is in Phase 2 or Phase 3, Belle Chasse High School students will participate in online/virtual learning for the first nine weeks of the school year. Modifications and/or adjustments will be conducted at the end of the first nine weeks."