Iberia Parish Superintendent of Schools Carey Laviolette said the school district has a solid plan going into the new year at Wednesday’s meeting.
Despite a hard summer full of many problems and questions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, Laviolette said that substantial progress has been made in the past few weeks due to the work of staff in the district.
“I don’t think every question will ever be answered this year, we’ll always be seeking more answers because things change and as they change it creates more questions,” Laviolette said.
“The quality of the work the staff has been doing, it’s non-stop,” she added. “Know that you are in a district where everyone is pulling together without complaining.”
Although the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Iberia Parish has been disheartening, Laviolette said she talked to Dr. Tina Sefanski with the Louisiana Department of Health, who said that the parish had a solid plan for going into the new year.
“It was a tremendous relief to me because if we had to go back to the drawing board right now I just don’t see how we’d be ready,” Laviolette said. “I think our plan is solid and unless something major changes we will proceed with the plan in place.”
That plan involves some major changes for students in Iberia Parish schools, including setting students in middle and high schools into groups that will learn at school and at-home depending on the days of the week.
It also involves a major upheaval in safety measures that have made the Iberia Parish School District re-think everything from transportation to meals for students.
Parents will also be able to opt for a virtual learning choice, where students will be educated entirely at home.
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Heath Hulin said the district received about 10,700 enrollment intent forms from parents in the district, which represents about 90 percent of the student population.
Of those numbers, Hulin said about one-third of parents chose the virtual learning option. Hulin said the large response to that option made him hesitant because he was unsure if parents are fully aware of how involved virtual learning will be for students and parents, and said that his department will be providing more information on it.
Hulin said the district also rolled out a video presentation of what the new school year will look like at the Iberia Parish School District’s website, which parents can use to find answers to all of the major questions being asked right now for the new school year.
“We decided to put something together in a format where someone could sit and watch it. It’s all accessible,” Hulin said.