NPSB Superintendent Welcomes Everyone Back to School after the Holiday Break

The Natchitoches Parish School Board hopes everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years break! Teachers, staff and administrators are excited to have everyone back in the classroom to finish off the school year as great as it started.

Please read the letter below from Superintendent, Dr. Grant Eloi, addressing NPSB’s approach to Covid-19 going into the new year!

Dear Parents, Staff and Community,

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I wanted to take some time and reach out to you all before we start back to school on Monday, January 4th.

As you all are aware, COVID-19 numbers are continuing to increase across the nation. Despite the increase in numbers, all of the medical experts are still informing us that students are safest while at school. It is apparent that more often than not cases are being contracted outside of school. The reasons for this are obvious to most people who are able to witness the school mitigation efforts, compared to outside of the district.

As a safety precaution, I have informed all Principals that their schools should be prepared for possible closures but I have given them this same message since the summer. There is no other reason for my reiteration of this message, except for the increase in numbers and the fact that we have been out of school for 2 weeks.

In general, I believe we should continue face-to-face instruction. I believe, as the experts have stated, that students and staff are safe at schools. I also believe that because many students are not successful with virtual learning, we would be doing our children a disservice by going virtual for any period of time—unless safety necessitates it. I also realize that not all families are able to drop everything, including work, and find care for their children during the day.

As a parent with 3 children in our school system and as a husband with a wife teaching in our system, I understand the daily worries that many of you are experiencing. I want you to know that although I favor face-to-face instruction, when the situation dictates pivoting, I will not hesitate to close schools for the benefit of everyone’s safety. Currently, the situation does not call for virtual instruction but it may in the future.
I want to reiterate again that we are only safe when the proper procedures and protocols are followed. We have informed our Principals and staff of the vital importance of following the COVID-19 protocols with fidelity. When protocols are not followed with fidelity, it will be immediately addressed and corrected.
We will continue to monitor the situation, as we have done for the past 4 months. If the situation changes, we will attempt to provide as much prior notice to these changes as possible. We recognize that this has been a difficult time for educators, staff, parents and students. We ask that we continue to work together to make the second half of the year as successful as the first.

Finally, if you are part of this system and you have any of the major or minor symptoms related to Covid-19, have been exposed to a positive case or a possible positive, please reach out to your Principal or Mrs. Linda Page. Our natural inclination is not to miss school but in these circumstances we need to become comfortable with reporting even the more minor symptoms that a year ago would not have stopped us from going to school or work.

I look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday, January 4th. Together We Can!

Dr. Grant Eloi
Superintendent Natchitoches Parish Schools