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St. Tammany Schools release updated guidelines, will reconsider start date

If the state is still in Phase 2, St. Tammany Parish Public School students grades Pre-K - 5 will have traditional in-person learning five days a week.

NEW ORLEANS — St. Tammany Parish Public Schools released updated guidelines that lay out what school will look like for different grades. 

If the state is still in Phase 2, St. Tammany Parish Public School students grades Pre-K - 5 will have traditional in person learning five days a week. Grades 6 - 12 will have hybrid leanring, alternating days in two groups by last name. 

"Considering our population, a lot of parents both work so to leave a kindergartner or fifth grade at home. We thought it would be better if they come to school every day, so that was the reasoning for doing that. Knowing we couldn't bring everyone back, we went with the hybrid model for 6 - 12," said Pete Jabbia, Interim Superintendent for STPPS.

As of now, students will gradually return starting August 11th, but the school board voted Wednesday asking the administration to push back the start of school until after Labor Day. 

"(I'm) not saying September 8 the number (of COVID-19 cases) will go down, but that's what we're hoping for, but as of now the number is not going down so I'd like for us to regroup," said Debbie Green, President of the St. Tammany Federation of Teachers and School Employees. 

Green will work with the superintendent on any possible changes to the calendar. 

"We're going to look at a number of different things," Jabbia said. 

"If we can hold of on a little while on something that could possible save their lives or their family members from becoming ill, I think it's worth it," Green said. 

STPPS Virtual School is an option for all students. Enrollment is still open, but so far 800 students are opted into virtual learning with about another 800 in the queue. 

A big issue still being worked out is transportation. STPPS sent a bus transportation questionnaire to parents Thursday to help in planning bus routes and logistics. That will be open through July 31. 

If a child tests positive for COVID-19, that does not necessarily mean the school will close. The superintendent will determine if the school was the focus of the infections. They'll communicate with employees and parents of students who were in close contact. For more on that, click HERE.

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