ST. TAMMANY PARISH – After announcing the delay of the start of the new school year, the STPPS system sent out another back to school update.
The STPPS 2020-2021 School Year Planning Guide is now available on the district website to provide stakeholders with the most current plan for the beginning of the school year and safe operation of schools throughout the school year.
“We understand families and employees want to know what to expect when the school year begins, and we have been working in frequent communication with representatives from a variety of health and government organizations to get answers for them and to ensure we have the proper safety protocols and procedures in place for the beginning of the school year,” said Interim Superintendent Pete Jabbia. “This situation is very fluid and our plans will have to be revised as needed when we get new information and conditions change. Even though the plan document we are providing is just an overview and does not encompass definite or complete plans, we hope it provides some answers for our stakeholders.
At this time, the plan is for students enrolled in STPPS brick-and-mortar schools to begin the school year with students in grades Pre K-5 following the traditional learning model where they would attend school in person five days a week.
Students in grades 6-12 would follow the hybrid model, which is a combination of distance learning and traditional in-person learning on the school campus.
Under the hybrid model, students with a last name beginning with A-K would attend school for a full day in person Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday. Students with a last name beginning with L-Z would attend school for a full day in person Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday.
When not physically present in the school building, students will participate in required distance learning.
All STPPS parents and caregivers will be asked to complete a bus transportation questionnaire to help in planning bus routes and logistics. The questionnaire will be available on the district website at www.stpsb.org and will be open through Friday, July 31, 2020.
The STPPS Virtual School is an option for families who would prefer a full-time virtual school environment. The STPPS Virtual School will begin at the start of the school year and operation will not be dependent on state phases or learning model the rest of the district is using at a given time. Students who choose to enroll in the virtual school should remain enrolled for a minimum of one semester. Students must withdraw from their currently enrolled school to enroll in the virtual school.
The STPPS 2020-2021 School Year Planning Guide provides an overview of safety protocols and operational standards that will be in place when students attend school in person, including cleaning and disinfection protocols, screening and temperature checks, face masks required for adults and students in grades 3-12, social distancing, food service modifications, and school bus capacity reductions.
Although plans are still tentative, we are preparing to begin our school year August 11-14 with “Safe Start Days” where one-fourth of students will report to school each day based on the first letter of their last name. Under this tentative plan, students will begin their regular school schedule on August 17. The St. Tammany Parish School Board directed the Superintendent to look at options to delay the start of school until after Labor Day at the July 22, 2020 board meeting. Once a decision has been made on whether school will start later than the current plan an announcement will be made by the district.