TPSD to offer virtual and traditional learning options for 2020-2021 school year
The Terrebonne Parish School District announced that it is offering families the choice between a virtual and traditional learning model for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.
If families choose the virtual model, students will be assigned to the school that falls in the zone in which they live. They will complete independent work from home that will be assigned and graded by their teachers.
However, this virtual model will be more structured than the remote learning that took place this spring when schools closed their doors to limit the spread of COVID-19, said TPSD Superintendent Philip Martin. The virtual method will encompass everything that students would see in “regular school.”
“They will have to meet daily. There will be attendance. They will be graded…We’re trying to make people understand that the virtual [method], if you’re going that way, it’s going to be school, and you’ve got to turn the computer on, and you’ve got to log in because all the programs record who’s logged in, how long they were logged in and all that kind of good stuff,” Martin said.
Families that wish to utilize the virtual model must register by July 17 by filling out a form on the TPSD website. Students must be enrolled in the TPSD to participate in the program.
Students participating in the traditional learning method will attend school in-person as usual. However, schools will follow recommendations from the Louisiana Department of Health and Department of Education’s school reopening guidelines.
For schools in the TPSD, some of these procedures will include:
- Daily temperature checks of students and employees as they arrive
- Mandatory face masks for students in third through twelfth grade, as well as all adults
- Limited bus capacities
- Limited movement of students around school
- Social distancing whenever possible
“It will be regular school, but it won’t be normal,” Martin said. “We got [the recommendations] from the Department of Education. We’re following what they suggested.”
Parents will have the option to switch learning methods during the school year if they choose to do so. However, if a parent chooses to switch their child from virtual to traditional learning during the school year, they will not be able to return to virtual learning.
It is unclear as of now how long these changes will be in place. Martin said the TPSD is taking them “one day at a time.”