Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Schools to remain closed for 2019-20 academic year

Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Article Image Alt Text

Update: Headline edited for clarity — April 14

Gov. John Bel Edwards confirmed Monday what many guessed was imminent: he will order all K-12 public schools to be closed for the rest of the academic year because of the coronavirus.

The move comes after almost all parish school system superintendents and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education sent letters asking the governor to extend school closure beyond the previous mark of April 30 to the end of the year, which was set to wrap up in Lincoln Parish on May 21.

“It’s a sad day for us, but we do understand the reason why, and it is the right thing to do,” Lincoln Parish Schools Superintendent Mike Milstead said.

“I appreciate the governor being willing take a stand for what we feel is in the long-term best interest of the school system,” Milstead said.

“But personally, we’re always sad to see the school year end. We will continue, however, our online and paper copy (distance learning) efforts for the remainder of the school year.”

School doors have been closed since March 16, and the parish school district ramped up its distance learning efforts last week after Edwards extended the closure from April 13 to April 30.

The usual federal and state requirements for instructional minutes have been waived for this school year, so students will not necessarily have to make up every day missed from March to May.

But BESE, which sets policies for the school systems, is contemplating several ideas on ways to catch students up after missing months of traditional in-person instruction. Those possibilities include summer school, starting the 2020-21 school year earlier, or extending hours of the school day next year.

Meal pickup will continue in Lincoln Parish on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The district has not yet made a final ruling on graduation ceremonies for the three high schools. Though virtual online ceremonies are an option, officials say they may instead be postponed until later in the summer when they can be held in person.

The Lincoln Parish School Board will hold its first remoteaccess meeting today at 6 p.m. which will be streamed live on its “Lincoln Parish Schools” Facebook page.