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BENTON, La. -- Survey results are in and plans are underway at Bossier Schools to safely welcome back students next month.

At the same time, the Webster Parish School Board on Monday voted to push back its opening date until Sept. 1. That'll put the last day of school for the 2020-21 school year on June 4, 2021.

The Webster School Board has previously announced two options for parents to choose from for their children: Attend traditional school setting based on guidelines set by the governor, depending upon which of the three phases the state is in; or a 100% virtual program where students are not on campus.

The Reconnect Webster 2020 plan that provides best practices for school reopening has been released and can be accessed here

In Bossier Parish, families were recently surveyed about their concerns and preferences as related to COVID-19 and their children’s return to school campuses in August. Some 8,550 responses were received, representing approximately 12,500 students.

Complete results can be viewed at the Fall 2020 Back-to-School Survey Results

Key takeaways from the survey indicate:

● The vast majority (68%) of parents currently plan to have their children return to school in August, while 28% remain undecided.

● Most (55%) prefer daily face-to-face instruction, with hybrid and virtual learning options being respondents’ second and third choices, respectively.

● A simple majority (51%) indicated being either very comfortable or comfortable with requiring masks for students and employees.

● Parents are in favor of daily temperature checks, increased cleaning of “high touch” surfaces, broad availability of hand sanitizer and requiring that parents keep sick students at home.

This feedback helped steer district leaders as they planned for what school will look like come fall 2020, in addition to guidance from the Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

Subject to changes in state guidelines, and presuming Louisiana remains in Phase 2, Bossier Schools is planning:

● Daily face-to-face instruction for PreK-5th grades

● An A/B hybrid schedule for grades 6-12 in which students are split into groups and receive face-to-face instruction one day and virtual learning the next

The only exception is Plain Dealing High School, where all students in PreK-12th will attend daily for instruction.

Once Louisiana enters Phase 3, all students in the district will return to school daily.

Bossier Schools administrators recognize not all parents feel comfortable returning their child to the classroom environment and remote learning options will be offered at all grade levels via Bossier Schools’ Virtual Learning Academy.

Bossier Strong Start, a fully detailed reopening plan, will be released the week of July 20.

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