The Natchitoches Parish School Board held a teleconference meeting on Tuesday, July 14 after postponing its original meeting which was set for July 9.
Natchitoches School Superintendent Grant Eloi recommended that the start date for the 2020-2021 school year be pushed back to September, with the first day of school being Aug. 31. A special called meeting will be set sometime next week for the board to vote on this item.
In addition to this he updated Board members on the increase in sign ups for the district’s Digital Home Based Learning option. As of Tuesday’s meeting there are 1,461 students enrolled. With such a large number of students participating in this option the Edgenuity platform the district was considering using for the digital learning would cause financial difficulties. The district will instead use more of a Google Classroom based platform, which will also allow them to align instruction more with what’s going on in the brick and mortar school setting. Eloi said he anticipates the number of digital learning sign ups rising as high as 2,000 students by the registration deadline of July 17.
If the School Board votes to extend the start of the year to Aug. 31, the sign up deadline for the Digital Home Based Learning option will be extended as well.
Another concern as the school year approaches is uniforms. After much debate, the final decision is that uniforms will be required for the 2020-2021 school year. However, the board voted to extend the usual grace period for uniforms through Sept. 30 (as needed). Principals can address uniform issues/needs at their individual schools and dress down day guidelines can be observed for those students who need more time to acquire uniforms.