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St. John Public Schools offer virtual-only option; Riverside Academy plans to reopen face-to-face in August

LAPLACE — The St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District will be offering students the option of virtual-only learning to start the 2020-21 school year.

Parents who would like to enroll their child in virtual-only learning are asked to please complete the application by 6 p.m. on Monday, July 13.

The application can be accessed at the following link: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=bNY3stQ1R0O6_NKRsZsuAdmh_oFT4YhAiRZ1X0QWOT1UNlNYNVFVNFZSS0FaUVFURDNWODQ0T1gzTi4u&fbclid=IwAR0PPk1wbwtWxYV4K31pjUzmsZHTMoomYuYuuIVYzKNy-XFgpgp4bCEW3ss.

Once registered, parents are committing their child to virtual learning through the end of the fall semester. Virtual learning will mimic a typical school day. According to school officials, it will be a structured day that includes expectations, learning objectives, whole group activities, small group activities, lunch time and brain breaks. For parents who do not opt for virtual learning, the district will offer either traditional in-person learning or a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning depending upon which phase we are currently in as set by government officials for the remaining students for the fall semester.

Parents who do not want virtual-only learning do not need to complete the application. No action is required at this time.

Riverside Academy in Reserve is planning to open its doors for the 2020-2021 school year as long as Louisiana remains in Phase Two or Phase Three.

Riverside expects to open with a tentative start-up day on Aug. 6, followed by classes starting on Aug. 13. This may change at any time, and Principal Michael Coburn plans to hold a parent meeting at 6:30 p.m. July 28 in the Riverside Academy gym.

Coburn has been on weekly emails and Zoom meetings with the Louisiana State Superintendent and regional health directors regarding the start-up of school.

“There are restrictions that we will have to meet if we are still in Phase Two, and we can meet those guidelines,” Coburn said. “We will social distance in the classes, we will wash hands several times a day, teachers will sanitize classrooms several times a day. Cafeteria meals will be a grab-and-go type of service. High school will change classes differently to allow for social distancing during this time.”

Per guidance of health officials, masks will not be needed for pre-kindergarten through fourth graders at Riverside Academy. Students in fifth through 12th grades may wear masks, but it is not mandatory.

“I know that we all are so ready to get back to some form of normalcy,” Coburn said.

L’OBSERVATEUR has not yet received information regarding reopening plans for Catholic schools within St. John the Baptist Parish.